Sunbed time deals to be a thing of the past as new crackdown comes into force

Leo Vardakar

Alan O'Keeffe

A new crackdown on sunbeds as a skin cancer risk has been launched by Health Minister Leo Varadkar.

New regulations ban business operators from selling sunbed sessions in their premises for minimum periods of time.

The new rule prohibiting minimum-time offers has been added to the measures introduced in March this year when offers and promotions of free-of-charge, half price, happy hours or early bird offers were also banned.

It was decided to target the sale of sunbed sessions that stipulate they can only be used for a minimum amount of time because people were being put at further risk.

Such offers "not only incentivise the additional use of a sunbed but actually force the customer to use a sunbed for longer than they might have originally wanted", said Minister Varadkar.

"This is not only non-compliant with the Act but also goes against the spirit of the legislation," he added.

The minimum-time marketing practices were highlighted as part of the Environmental Health Services compliance and implementation programme relating to the new sunbed laws.

"The more someone uses a sunbed, the higher the risk they will get skin cancer," the minister said.

"The incidence of skin cancer is increasing faster than any other type. More than 850 new cases of melanoma are reported in Ireland each year, with 150 Irish people dying annually. So it is important that we protect the public."