Together we will beat cancer


The House of Commons

It’s fantastic news. Following a major campaign from Cancer Research UK, Parliament yesterday passed a new law to protect under-18s from sunbeds.

The Sunbeds (Regulation) Act will come into force in 12 months time and opens the door to making sure all sunbed salons will have to be staffed and provide accurate health information on the dangers of sunbeds.

The Act was introduced as a Private Member’s Bill by Julie Morgan MP in December 2009. It’s very rare for a Private Member’s Bill to actually become law but in this case, the evidence was overwhelming.

Thanks to the support from all the main parties, it was passed yesterday in the ‘wash-up’ in Parliament.

A key part of the evidence MPs considered was research recently published in the British Medical Journal by Catherine Thomson in our Statistical Information Department. It found that a quarter of a million children in England between the ages of 11 and 17 regularly use sunbeds.

Taken together with the fact that the International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) now classifies sunbeds at the same cancer-causing level as tobacco, and that the intensity of some UV rays from sunbeds being up to 10-15 times higher than that of the midday sun, the case was hard to ignore.

Even so, we’d like to thank all our supporters who took the time to write to their MPs to ask them to support the bill – it wouldn’t have been possible without you.

And special thanks to Julie Morgan MP and Baroness Finlay for sponsoring the Bill, and to long term sunbeds campaigner Sian James MP, for all their fantastic work on this crucial issue.



Leigh Smith March 2, 2011

Dear Robbie, If you have been a sunbed user and you discover you have melanoma as a result – you would be saying, “why did no one tell me it was serious?” You might even say, as I have heard users say “why are are sun bed salons allowed, when they cause people to need this awful surgery and leave these awful scars?” People use sun beds to look good – so discovering that they leave you feeling very unhappy about the way you look and convinced you won’t ever wear a short skirt or a swimsuit again, is not what they paid the money for. If you are lucky and notice a change quickly, you will get off with a tiny thin scar, but lots of people are not that lucky. Wise up, enjoy life without piling up problems for you and worry for those that love you.

robbie March 1, 2011

to be honest you are not protecting no one. people tell use not to smoke. we still do. people tell use not to drink we still do it will be like this whatever the age consent is. people will never changed. if people wanted to go on sunbeds there will and even know the damage it may cause. stop trying to control people there know the risk so its in there hands

Henry Scowcroft April 20, 2010

Ines – thanks for your support. If you do go for ‘natural’ sun exposure, make sure you follow our SunSmart advice – UV from the sun can still cause cancer-causing damage if you’re not careful!

If you want to get in touch about your project, the best bet is to contact our Press Office who should be able to find someone to help…

PETER BOYD April 18, 2010


Justine April 12, 2010

I am absolutely delighted with this news. I was diagnosed with skin cancer in 2006 and have been helping CRUK to help raise awareness of skin cancer and the dangers of sunbeds via Sunsmart. We need to make more people aware of the dangers of skin cancer and I myself have had great feedback from people who I know and strangers in the street, who did not realise the damage that can be caused. So even though the sun is shining, at the moment, people need to be aware and Sunsmart can do just that.

Ines Alcobia April 11, 2010

This is fantastic news, I’ve heard about so many cases of sunbed users who say they think nothing bad will ever happen to them and it does. I’m 20 and although it’s tempting to use sunbeds I prefer to get natural safe exposure from the sun than fry in a machine…

I’m writing a feature on this ban for my project at university and would love to speak to someone that has worked close to this campaign as I have to get authoritative opinions and quotes. Henry, if you could get in touch through my email it would really help! Keep up the good work Cancer Research UK

PETER BOYD April 10, 2010