Government restricting sunbed use

Issue 48 – April 2013

The Government will be amending the Health Act 1956 later this year to prohibit access to commercial sunbeds for people under 18 years of age.

'Skin cancer is a serious and significant issue here in New Zealand,' says Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew. 'New Zealand and Australia have the highest melanoma incidence rates in the world – over 300 people die of melanoma in New Zealand each year. This government is committed to reducing the rates of skin cancer in New Zealand and are adopting key parts of Dr Paul Hutchison's private members bill to better regulate commercial sunbed use,' says Mrs Goodhew.

'The World Health Organization reports the risk of skin cancer, particularly melanoma, increases by 75% when sunbeds are used prior to age 30. Introducing an age restriction for commercial sunbeds is one of five key areas the government is investing in to help prevent New Zealanders getting skin cancer, and to provide faster treatment for people with melanoma.'

The four other areas are:

  1. Promoting sun safety education and awareness

  2. Improved resources and training for health professionals

  3. Faster cancer treatment initiatives, including developing a national melanoma tumour standard

  4. Increased access to skin lesion removal, including supporting GPs to remove more non-complex skin lesions.

Dr Hutchison made the announcement at the Melanoma Summit in Wellington on 5 April 2013.

Read a copy of the speech

Summarised from a New Zealand Government media release by Associate Health Minister Jo Goodhew, 5 April 2013.

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Published in consumer and occupational safety.