UK calls for injectables ban for under 18s

The UK’s Royal Society for Public Health has called on the government to ban injectables for under 18s.

In its latest report, Skins and Needles, the Society said that although “many reputable technicians will not perform non-surgical cosmetic procedures on under 18s” there needs to be a legal basis for complaint against those that do.

The RSPH said its call is supported by the UK public. The society’s poll of  “a representative sample of 2000 members of the UK public” in June found:

  • 87 percent agree that fillers should be made illegal for under 18
  • 89 percent agree that companies should not be allowed to target advertising for fillers and other cosmetic procedures at people under 18.
  • 82 percent believe that photo-based social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram put pressure on young people to have invasive and unnecessary cosmetic procedures such as fillers.

The RSPH also called for the Committee of Advertising Practice to prevent advertising of cosmetic procedures aimed at under18s .

“There are already rules about not targeting gambling or alcohol adverts at under-18s, and it would be an important next step to extend this to cosmetic procedures,” the report said.

“CAP guidance on gambling advertising states that marketers must take appropriate steps when planning their campaigns to exclude under-age groups from an audience where tools to do so are available.

“On social media, this includes using ad targeting facilities provided directly by the platform and tools that restrict under 18s’ access to marketers’ own social media content. It is also prohibited to use people who are, or look as if they might be, under 25 in gambling adverts.

“Key to the gambling guidelines is the requirement that marketing communications must not exploit the susceptibilities, aspirations, credulity, inexperience or lack of knowledge of children, young persons or other vulnerable persons.

“A similar system should be put in place for cosmetic procedure advertising.”

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