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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    More to a tan than meets the eye – Dark Side of Tanning campaign

    Minister for Health
    The Honourable Stephen Robertson

    Wednesday, December 03, 2008

    More to a tan than meets the eye – Dark Side of Tanning campaign

    A new confronting campaign warning young Queenslanders about the dangers of tanning will be launched across the State from today.

    Health Minister Stephen Robertson said the Dark Side of Tanning campaign focused on unsafe sun exposure and graphically illustrated the damage to our skin even before it starts to show signs of burning.

    Targeting teenagers and young adults, the campaign begins airing on television tonight and will run through the summer holiday period until the end of January.

    “We have one of the highest rates of skin cancer in the world because too many Queenslanders do not take simple precautions and therefore put themselves at risk, “Mr Robertson said.

    “Skin cancer remains one of the State’s most important and difficult health challenges, with one in 20 Queenslanders expected to be diagnosed with melanoma before the age of 75.

    “In 2005 there were 2,658 diagnosed cases of melanoma in Queensland and 263 deaths.

    “Australia-wide, there are around 400,000 new cases of non-melanoma skin cancer diagnosed each year, making it the most common form of cancer in the country.

    “Diagnosing and treating skin cancer comes with an estimated $300 million national price tag, putting extra pressure on the public health system.

    “One of the aims of our Towards Q2 strategy, is to reduce unsafe sun exposure by one third by 2020.

    “This skin cancer prevention campaign will be one step towards achieving that goal.

    Mr Robertson said the Dark Side of Tanning campaign had already proved successful in NSW.

    “The NSW Cancer Institute has indicated there has been a five per cent change in people who are anti-tan as a result of the campaign, with 60 per cent of the population regarded as anti-tan,” he said.

    “As a result of seeing the ad, nearly two thirds of viewers were less likely to get a suntan and over half were thinking about increasing their level of sun protection.

    “We’re confident that this campaign will prove just as successful in Queensland, where we unfortunately have one of the highest skin cancer rates in the world,” Mr Robertson said.

    Mr Robertson said everyone could follow five easy steps to prevent skin cancer:

    Slip on protective clothing

    Slop on SPF30+ sunscreen, reapply every two hours

    Slap on a broad-brimmed hat

    Seek shade

    Slide on wrap-around sunglasses.

    Media Contact: Catherine Goldie 0417 728 676