It's been an extremely long time coming but it seems legislation to regulate the use of sunbeds is finally on the way.
Sunbeds have been known to cause skin cancer – a disease which is on the rise among Irish people.
Minister for Health James Reilly said the The Public Health (Sunbeds) Bill has now been drafted. "I propose to make it an offence to sell or hire a sunbed to a person under 18 years of age or allow such a person to use a sunbed on a sunbed premises.
"Breaches of this core provision will result in prosecution and very significant penalties will be available to the courts in cases of non-compliance," he added.
Other elements include:
* A ban on the unsupervised use of sunbeds in a sunbed premises.
* An exemption for medical purposes.
* Control on the remote sale or hire of sunbeds (internet transactions).
* Sunbed operators, sellers and hirers must notify the HSE.
* A requirement that sunbed operators provide training for staff.
* An enforcement regime and the imposition of penalties for non-compliance.
* An obligation on all sunbed operators to provide protective eyewear to users.
* A requirement that warning signs be displayed in all sunbed premises.
* A ban on certain promotional marketing practices.
* A requirement on operators to ensure that sunbed users are made fully aware of the potential dangers of sunbed use; and a related provision whereby sunbed users are required to sign to confirm that they have been made so aware.
The proposed legislation has to be notified to the EU Commission under the EU Transparency Directive – a process that will take at least three months to complete.