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Sunbeds: Young People

Volume 496: debated on Thursday 16 July 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Health (1) what recent estimate he has made of the percentage of 11 to 17 year olds who use sun beds in (a) urban and (b) rural areas in England and Wales; (286603)

(2) with reference to his Department’s report on the cancer reform strategy, “Maintaining Momentum”, published on 1 December 2008, when he expects to publish further information on sun bed use by young people;

(3) if he will commission research on the reasons for which those aged under 18 years old use sun beds;

(4) what recent reports he has received of the annual incidence of deaths arising from sun bed use.

The recent report of the committee on medical aspects of radiation in the environment (COMARE) summarises evidence on sunbed use amongst young people and also refers to estimates of the number of deaths accounted for by sunbed use. The report can be accessed at:

The Department has commissioned further research from Cancer Research UK which is expected to cover what factors motivate young people to use sunbeds in a particular setting. We will consider making these data available in due course.