Cancer Research UK have warned that prolonged sun bed use could be putting the health of 250,000 children at risk. Government estimates show that the habit kills 100 people a year in the UK.

The charity’s surveys indicate that an average of 6% of 11 to 17 year-olds use sun beds, often due to peer pressure to get a tan, with the percentage doubling in cities such as Sunderland and Liverpool where half of 15 to 17 year-old girls said they used sun beds.

It has been estimated that sun bed use by under-18’s increases the risk of developing malignant melanoma, a deadly form of skin cancer, by 75%.

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