Focus: Policy and Politics - Question Time - Ken Macintosh, Labour MSP for Eastwood

What are you proposing in your Sunbeds Bill?

I'm proposing a licensing scheme that would allow local authorities to issue licences to all sunbed parlours. Under the terms of such a licence, children would not be allowed to use sunbeds, a health warning would be displayed and information would be given to all users. It would also ban coin-operated sunbeds and unsupervised facilities.

Why?

The Bill is intended to regulate the use of sunbeds and the sunbed industry. But it's also designed to raise awareness of the dangers of sunbeds and their link to skin cancer.

Have you been consulting with cancer charities on the Bill?

Cancer Research UK has been very supportive. The Bill is currently at the consultation stage, so I am hoping that other cancer charities - as well as bodies from the tanning industry and users - will offer their views. The consultation paper is available on my website and on the Scottish Parliament website.

Has there been any interest from Westminster?

I haven't been in contact with any MPs, although I do know there is an interest in this issue in England.

Is skin cancer a problem in Scotland?

We have an epidemic of skin cancer. At the moment, it's the fastest rising cancer - that's ironic, because we don't get much sun in Scotland.

Why do you think this is?

I'm in no doubt that there is a straightforward link between tanning and skin cancer. The number of sunbeds in Scotland has increased in recent years. The Royal Environmental Health Institute of Scotland recently did a survey of tanning parlours and found that there are more sunbeds per capita in places like Glasgow and Paisley than there are anywhere else in the UK.

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