The government of New South Wales has banned the use of tanning beds. In the wake of the NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker’s announcement that all tanning beds in NSW will be banned from 2014, the Cosmetic Physicians Society of Australasia (CPSA) urged other state governments to follow this lead.

Speaking on behalf of the CPSA, Dr Mary Dingley stated, “The ban on tanning beds is long overdue. Skin cancer is the most preventable form of cancer, yet despite the fact that we know the dangers, Australia has the highest rate of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancers in the world. The use of tanning beds is a significant contributing factor.”

Calling the NSW ban “fantastic”, Dr Dingley said it sends the message that for many there is no form of ‘safe sun-tanning’ and will hopefully encourage people to rethink the idea of a ‘healthy tan’. The ban, she said, is a positive step that will help prevent people from developing dangerous melanomas and will also potentially save lives.

Other doctors from the CPSA are also encouraging all state governments to introduce similar bans. The CPSA spokesperson likened the ban to regulations introduced to prohibit smoking indoors, saying, and “It was once inconceivable that venues would ban smoking indoors, but now it’s an accepted part of society. Likewise, while this seems like a big shift, I think it’s only a matter of time until all state governments look at the current rates of skin cancer and conclude that bans on tanning beds are necessary to reduce avoidable deaths.”

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