Anorak News | Schoolgirls Commit Suicide By Sunbed, The Makings Of A Sun Newspaper Campaign

Schoolgirls Commit Suicide By Sunbed, The Makings Of A Sun Newspaper Campaign

by | 19th, August 2009

skin-tan-cancerNEWSPAPERS love a campaign, and Anorak spots the Sun’s latest offering – the SUNBED SHOCKER.

The Sun’s campaign follows the International Agency for Research on Cancer’s decree that sunbeds are “definitively ‘carcinogenic to humans’”.

This research was topped by the news produced by researchers at Lund University in Sweden, who found:

Occasional use of sunbeds, especially in winter, could almost halve a woman’s risk of developing endometrial cancer. “

The evidence is clear. Sunbeds cause cancer and if you doubt it, read the Daily Record’s news:

A MUM-OF-THREE was almost killed by skin cancer – after taking 3000 sunbed sessions. Lynsey Wright, 31, was so obsessed with getting perfectly bronzed skin that she hit the beds for 20 minutes every two days. But when she discovered cancer had come dangerously close to spreading to her spine, she changed her lifestyle.

Armed with knowledge, it’s back to the Sun, and news:

Salons allow girls as young as 13 to spend their dinner money on dangerous tanning sessions, a Live It investigation reveals today. We sent underage teens into the shops nationwide and EVERY girl – aged from 13 to 16 – was allowed to use a tanning bed, paying as little as 50p a minute.

The Sun gave money to young girls and encouraged them to hire sunbeds to highlight the, er, dangers of sunbed use by young girls?

The Sun is outraged:

This is despite the fact that last month the World Health Organisation reclassified sunbeds in the highest-risk group for causing cancer, alongside smoking and asbestos.

The WHO knows. It knew that sine flu would kill us all. And it knows that sunbeds are as dangerous as asbestos.

In one shocking case Gina Harry, 13, was able to buy a £6.50 token for a TEN-minute session at the Tanning World salon in Cambridge without being asked for proof of age… Government guidelines for sunbed shops were revised in May and now recommend that under-18s do not use them, and that all coin-operated salons are supervised by trained staff.

Yes, “recommend”. The sunbed salon did no wrong is selling a token to Miss Harry. What it did was not adhere to Government regulations, which may be wrong and can only harm its business.

But as our investigation shows, the warnings are meaningless. As there is currently no law governing sunbeds, businesses are at no risk of prosecution.

So surely then, the Sun should investigate the dangers of sunbeds and not the sunbed salons? But that would be difficult and make it hard to form a campaign based on contradictory research findings.

But the Sun is already on the phone to a vested interest group, who, as you might expects, are outraged:

Leonor Stjepic, chief executive of skin charity Raft, called our findings “appalling” and said: “Schoolgirls are killing themselves for a tan. No-one thinks they are going to die when they are young but it is a whole generation that we are failing. We protect our children from cigarettes and alcohol with legislation and we need the same for tanning beds.”

No we don’t. In time, fashion will change and being a neon orange in mid-winter will be frowned upon. And as for “schoolgirls killing themselves…”? Well, the Sun has more facts:

Skin cancer is the second most common cancer in people aged 15 to 34 in the UK and it kills more than 2,300 people here each year.

How many of those are victims of sunbed use, the Sun does not bother to say. and instead we hear from another woman with a vested interest:

Sandra McClumpha, boss of the Fake Bake company and founder of Save Your Skin, holds talks in schools to educate youngsters about the dangers. She said: “We have found girls are using lunch money in tanning booths. Instead of eating they will spend a couple of pounds in a sunbed shop. They will be in their school uniforms yet will still be unchallenged.

“The Sun’s investigation shows that the health and safety guidelines mean nothing and this needs to be made law.”

Yes, that’s right, the woman who runs a fake tan company – spray tans are best! – wants sunbeds banned.

And those schoolgirls who are dying for a tan? Well:

All the shops we visited let youngsters in without asking their age. Sensibly all our volunteers left without a sunbed session.

So schoolgirls aren’t all falling over themselves to get a sunbed session, even when they’re given the money to do so?

But they might. And that might be dangerous.

And so a media campaign is born…

Posted: 19th, August 2009 | In: Reviews Comments (3) | TrackBack | Permalink