Good news for skin cancer prevention – suntans might be going out of fashion… Wednesday 30 April 2008 PDF Print - 65% of teenagers brand suntans ‘chavvy’ - Bronzed and beautiful are no longer two words that fit together in the eyes of teenagers across the UK - 65 per cent now believe that having a suntan can make you look ‘chavvy’, which is definitely not the look fashion-conscious teens are going for! Research revealed today by Teenage Cancer Trust, in conjunction with Superdrug, which polled 1,000 UK teenagers, shows a trend towards teenagers revolting against suntans. But despite teens shunning suntans, there’s clearly a lack of knowledge amongst them when it comes to looking after their skin in the sun. Nearly a quarter (23 per cent) of teenagers mistakenly believe that either wearing tanning oil or being in the swimming pool will protect them from the sun and decrease their risk of burning. This is the very reason that Teenage Cancer Trust is launching a summer campaign, Shunburn, to educate teenagers on how to behave sensibly in the sun. As part of the campaign, the charity has set up an innovative free text alert service for teenagers. Text messages will be sent on hot days, giving useful sun safety tips, including reminders to wear sun cream and cover up and giving teens ten per cent off sun cream at Superdrug, the campaign’s partner. Despite the fact that teens don’t want to look ‘chavvy’ it seems that looking good in their summer outfits on the beach is more important than protecting their skin from sunburn. Forty two per cent of teenagers surveyed by TCT said they are reluctant to cover up in hot weather – even when they’re at risk of burning – because they are too concerned with their image. Clearly they feel pressure from peers to wear the right outfit, but at what cost? It seems that endless images of over-tanned celebrities are beginning to be a turn-off for many teens, but more education on behaving responsibly during the hot summer months - both in the UK and abroad - is desperately needed. More than one in five teens (21 per cent) state they do not give their health a second thought when out in the sun – admitting they’re happy to just deal with the health consequences later in life. But it’s vital that teenagers act now to protect themselves because skin cancer is one of the fastest growing cancers in the UK. There are 75,000 new cases diagnosed each year with over 2,300 of these people dying from the disease. The number of cases of melanoma in young people has doubled in the last 20 years and it’s the damage done to the skin in the younger years that can lead to skin cancer in later life. Lucy Jackson, Director of Communications at Teenage Cancer Trust, commented: “We were very surprised when the results of our survey revealed that teenagers now see sun tans as ‘chavvy’, but we hope that this means that they will start to be more careful in the sun. The fact that tans are beginning to be deemed unfashionable is great for skin cancer prevention, but we clearly have a lot to do in educating young people about the dangers of the sun, which is exactly why TCT is running this campaign.” Professor Rona Mackie, a skin cancer expert at Glasgow University continued: “It’s vital that teenagers learn how to behave sensibly in the sun and that they understand it’s the damage done to their skin in their early years that can cause skin cancer in later life. “Teenage Cancer Trust wants to encourage everyone to sign up for their text alerts – it’s time that teenagers take action and ensure they are loaded with the information required to keep safe in the sun.” Teenagers can sign up to the text alert service by texting SHUN to 80231 or visit www.teenagecancertrust.org/shunburn. Superdrug is partnering Teenage Cancer Trust on its Shunburn campaign providing free sun cream for teenagers at outdoor events throughout the summer keeping them protected when they need it most. They are also including educational messages in all 913 stores and offering a 10 per cent discount on Superdrug’s own SOLAIT brand sun cream to all those who sign up to the campaign. An A-list celebrity face of the campaign will be announced in May. - Ends - For further information please contact the Teenage Cancer Trust media team at Mischief PR on 020 7100 9999 / email@example.com For further information on Superdrug please contact Jenny or Miranda at ZPR on 020 7896 3404 / 07971 117265 or Superdrug@z-pr.com Notes to Editor: Teenage Cancer Trust: Each day in the UK, 6 teenagers will find out they have cancer - that is over 2,000 new diagnoses every year. These young people often get a raw deal, receiving hospital treatment in inappropriate facilities catering for children or the elderly. Teenage Cancer Trust focuses on the needs of teenagers and young adults with cancer by providing specialist teenage units in NHS hospitals. As well as state-of-the-art facilities to keep patients occupied during long stays in hospital, the units provide an environment where teenagers can meet others in a similar situation. Units allow patients to build friendships and mechanisms to cope with their disease without being patronised or ignored. The units are staffed by professionals who fully understand and manage the needs of their patients. To date, TCT has built units in London, Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham, Sheffield, Liverpool, Glasgow and Newcastle and would like at least 22 units to ensure every teenager with cancer has access. In addition to building units, TCT funds a nationwide Education team, teaching young people in schools, colleges and universities about cancer, prevention and healthy living. The charity also provides a conference for young people with cancer and training for medical professionals. For more information visit www.teenagecancertrust.org. Registered charity no. 1062559. Superdrug: · Superdrug has worked on summer skin safety campaigns since 2006 raising over £250k for research and educational campaigns to date · Superdrug is the United Kingdom’s most fashion conscious beauty and health retailer with over 900 stores in the UK and Eire · Superdrug is one of the health & beauty retail brands from the A.S. Watson Group (ASW) family – the world’s largest health & beauty retailer and the largest perfumeries & cosmetics retailer. With a history dating back to 1828, ASW has evolved into an international retail and manufacturing business with over 7,900 stores in 36markets worldwide. It has over 98,000 employees, serving over 25 million customers a week. 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