The Auckland Council has recognised the potential dangers of sunbed use.

The council has passed a health and hygiene bylaw requiring sunbed operators to be licensed and to comply with a code of practice. The bylaw will come into effect from 1 July 2014.

There will be an age restriction on sunbed use: under-18s won't be allowed to use a sunbed even if they have a parent's or guardian's consent.

We welcome the Auckland Council's action - and it would be good to see other councils following its lead. Our surveys of sunbed operators have shown that many businesses aren't following - or are not even aware of - basic safety guidelines for sunbed use.