The Norwegian Institute of Public Health this week submitted a research report to Norway’s Health Ministry, which revealed that 300 people now die from skin melanomas in Norway every year, a ten-fold increase over the last 60 years and the second highest rate worldwide after New Zealand.
“I am concerned,” Per Magnus, a strategic advisor at the institute told NRK. “This is a preventable form of cancer. If informing people of the risks is not sufficient, we should consider restrictions. There should be a discussion on whether solariums should be prohibited”
With an average of just six hours of sunlight a day in January in Oslo, Norwegians have long resorted to soaking up artificial rays in tanning salons.
“We have a culture of tanning in Norway,” Magnus explained. “People know about the dangers, but they think that it provides wellbeing and quality of life to be out in the sun”.
Should a ban be brought in, Norway would join sunny Brazil and Australia in the select list of countries who have brought in bans on sun beds.
Judging by the reaction from ordinary Norwegians online, the Institute could struggle to build backing for a ban.
“These government jokers should move to North Korea,” Per Nakkim wrote on the Facebook page of the web news site Nettavisen.
“No to a ban!” agreed Gina Baumeyer. “We have enough bans. Let people take responsibility for their own health.”