Nearly 90 per cent of people in the UK back proposals to stop under 18s from using sunbeds according to a new survey by Cancer Research UK, today.

The results also show that 90 per cent of people want all sunbed salons to be staffed at all times. And 91 per cent want salons to provide health information to all users making sure they are aware of the health risks of using sunbeds.

The survey* – carried out by YouGov – questioned more than 2000 people from across the UK.

Sarah Woolnough, Cancer Research UK’s head of policy, said: “These results show the overwhelming support from the public for laws to be introduced to ensure that sunbeds are properly regulated and that people are aware of the dangers of using sunbeds.

“Cancer Research UK is calling for England, Northern Ireland and Wales to follow in the footsteps of Scotland and stop under 18s from using sunbeds, close salons that aren’t supervised by trained staff and ensure information about the risks of using sunbeds is given to all customers.

“The rates of malignant melanoma – the deadliest form of skin cancer – are rapidly rising in the UK and experts believe that, along with binge tanning on foreign holidays, using sunbeds is one of the main reasons. Legislation would be a fantastic step in the right direction to help prevent people developing the disease.

“This survey follows the COMARE report which categorically states that there are no health benefits from using sunbeds. And with the huge public support revealed in these latest results the government should act now.”


For media enquiries please contact the press office on 020 7061 8300 or, out-of-hours, the duty press officer on 07050 264 059.


*All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2053 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 3rd – 6th July 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18+).

To what extent you support or oppose restricting the use of sunbeds in salons to over-18s only?

Strongly support: 64%

Support: 23%

Oppose: 3%

Strongly oppose: 1%

Don’t know: 8%

To what extent you support or oppose measures to ensure that all sunbed salons are staffed so that customers are shown how to use the equipment and sunbed use is supervised?

Strongly support: 65%

Support: 25%

Oppose: 1%

Strongly oppose: 1%

Don’t know: 8%

To what extent you support or oppose ensuring that sunbed salons provide accurate health information about the risks of sunbed use?

Strongly support: 68%

Support: 23%

Oppose: 1%

Strongly oppose: 1%

Don’t know: 7%

To what extent you support or oppose government-funded public awareness campaigns to highlight the link between UV exposure and skin cancer and to make people aware of the risks of sunbed use? p

Strongly support: 40%

Support: 36%

Oppose: 8%

Strongly oppose: 5%

Don’t know: 10%


In Scotland sunbed legislation has been passed by the Scottish Parliament and will be implemented at the end of the year which Cancer Research UK welcomes.

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The most common kind of skin cancer is non-melanoma skin cancer. More than 80,000 cases are registered each year in the UK but it is estimated that the actual number is at least 100,000.

Around 10000 cases of malignant melanoma are diagnosed each year in the UK. Incidence rates of this form of skin cancer have quadrupled since the 1970s.

Around 2000 people a year in the UK die from malignant melanoma.