12 Sep, 2010 Last updated: 07 Jan, 2015

Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews has announced $1 million for a SunSmart campaign over this coming summer.

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Victorian Health Minister Daniel Andrews has announced $1 million for a SunSmart campaign over this coming summer.

The funds will be provided to the Victorian Health Promotion Foundation (VicHealth), who will allocate 100 per cent directly to Cancer Council Victoria, who run SunSmart.

VicHealth CEO Todd Harper said: “SunSmart has a proven track record of creating quality campaigns that work. More than 103,000 skin cancers were estimated to have been prevented in Victoria from 1988 to 2003. That’s 1000 deaths that have been prevented, not to mention the heartache for Victorian families.

“Over the next 20 years, SunSmart programs across Australia are predicted to prevent 1900 premature deaths, reduce the number of melanoma cases by 20,000 and non-melanoma skin cancer by 49,000.

“This is important work. Although awareness is growing, more than 430,000 Australians are treated for skin cancer each year and 1700 will die from this illness.”

Mr Harper added that SunSmart campaigns were named one of the best value for money illness prevention measures out of more than 100 examined in the Assessing Cost Effectiveness of Prevention report released this week.

“A little knowledge goes a long way. Ever since the early days of ‘slip, slop, slap’, we’ve made great inroads to educate Australians about skin cancer, which has resulted in more people getting regular skin checks and an increasing number heeding the sun safety message.

“However, we know that we still have quite a way to go to educate young people in particular that tanning is not safe.”

SunSmart’s 2009 The Dark Side of Tanning campaign, launched last year as part of the National Skin Cancer Awareness Week, targeted the growing number of young people who are putting their lives at risk through UV exposure.

Since 1988, VicHealth has contributed more than $12 million to the SunSmart program aimed at reducing harmful UV exposure. Over the next four years VicHealth will continue its partnership with the Cancer Council Victoria.