£20,000 fines for sunbed ban breach
Businesses allowing under-18s to use sunbeds will face fines of up to £20,000 under new rules.
Young people will be stopped from using sunbeds in places such as tanning salons, beauty shops, leisure centres, gyms and hotels, and prevented from entering an area reserved for sunbed users.
The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act 2010 comes into force after research published earlier this week showed more than two people under the age of 35 are diagnosed with the deadliest form of skin cancer every day in the UK.
Under the new rules for England and Wales businesses will not be forced to ask for ID or keep a register of customers but local authorities will have to decide how to check businesses are complying with the law, such as unannounced spot checks or pre-planned visits.
However, the Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) said the ban did not go far enough and called for further measures similar to those set to be introduced in Wales.
From October 31, tanning salons in the principality will be required to supervise all adults using sunbeds as well as display specifically approved health information about their effects.
Andrew Griffiths, CIEH policy officer, said: "We are extremely pleased to see the Act coming into force and believe it will give valuable protection to young people who are particularly vulnerable when it comes to contracting skin cancer.
"We are now urging the Government to follow the example set by the Welsh Assembly Government by implementing the powers given to it under the Act to introduce subsidiary regulations increasing the protection given to sunbed users. These powers include further restricting the sale, hire or provision of sunbeds, in particular by prohibiting unsupervised tanning salons, and requiring sunbed businesses to provide health information and protective eyewear to their customers."
Figures show that on average, 6% of 11 to 17-year-olds in England use sunbeds, rising to 50% of 15 to 17-year-olds girls in Liverpool and Sunderland.
Public health minister Anne Milton said: "Cases of skin cancer continue to rise each year. This new law will go some way to help reduce one of the biggest cancers among 15 to 24-year-olds. We want to protect under-18s from the dangers of sunbeds and reduce the number of young people getting skin cancer."