26 Aug, 2013 Last updated: 30 Mar, 2015

By Jerril Rechter, VicHealth CEO

Letter the editor first published in the Ballarat Courier 26 August 2013.

VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter

Skin cancer victim Clare Oliver died at just 26. She spent the last months of her life pleading with other young women not to use solariums.

Clare wanted young people to know that the pursuit of attractiveness is never worth losing your life over.

This week, the State Government officially banned these deadly machines. From January 2015 they will cease to operate in Victoria.

This decision means countless young people have been spared the suffering Clare endured.

In Australia, UV is a natural hazard that is impossible to avoid, but solariums are a choice. They are dangerous and irrefutably linked to cancer.

The risk of developing skin cancer before age 35 is much greater if you are a solarium user. This is a scary statistic.

But the good news is that the pursuit of a tan is becoming less attractive as more young people switch on to the fact that the sun is a killer.

Now that the State Government has taken solariums out of the equation, we can focus our efforts on educating the public about sun protection – and that’s a win for everyone.

- Jerril