How young is too young? UK bans tanning beds for minors, Italy bans implants

Media WalesMedia WalesMiley Cyrus may enjoy getting bronzed from a bed, but if she lived in the UK, she wouldn't be able to. The BBC reports that British Public Health Minister, Gillian Merron, announced that the government is looking to ban those under 18 from using tanning beds. She is supporting a bill that demands a ban for minors as well as increased supervision over adult use of tanning machines. "Cancer Research UK's recent report, commissioned by the government, showed worrying levels of sunbed use by under 18s and confirmed that voluntary action by the industry is not enough to protect young people," says Merron. The study found that 250,000 11-to-17-year-olds in England use the beds.

Last week, a tanning salon owner was sentenced to community service after disobeying health and safety codes when an unsupervised 14-year-old received 70% burns. Scotland added a new law that bans underage kids from tanning beds this month. Skin cancer rates have more than quadrupled in the last 30 years, largely due to the cultural obsession with bronzed skin. "There is no such thing as a safe tan unless it comes out of a bottle," says Richard Lewis, the Welsh secretary of the BMA. "It's ironic, people use sunbeds because they think they'll look better, and yet they will probably end up looking old prematurely and possibly getting skin cancer."

We also noticed that Italy is getting on board with the underage bans. Following an increase in accidents during cosmetic procedures, new legislation would not allow girls to get breast-enhancement surgery until the age of 18. Besides the fact that young women may not be finished growing, they claims many girls are getting implants "purely for fashion reasons and have no idea of the risks involved."

At what age do you think women should be allowed to tan or have elective surgery? Do you think the States should follow Europe in banning those under 18? [BBC][Telegraph]