Industry associations celebrate under-18 cosmetic fillers law

Industry associations have voiced their support of the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill which passed its third reading in the House of Lords on April 28.

The Bill has the support from the British College of Aesthetic Medicine (BCAM), the British Association of Cosmetic Nurses (BACN) and the Joint Council for Cosmetic Practitioners (JCCP), which have all released statements applauding the announcement.

The JCCP has provided advice to government departments as part of the formulation of this new legislation and has campaigned for its legal enforcement. The JCCP has been concerned about the irresponsible use of social media, and the targeting of medically-related aesthetic procedures for children, which promote a ‘false picture of perfection’.

Chair of the JCCP Professor David Sines said, “Whilst welcoming the new Bill, the JCCP is mindful that much more needs to be done to ensure that the Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) and the Committee for Advertising Practice (CAP) are committed to the responsible advertising of aesthetic products and services, which do not mislead customers with regard to risk, benefits and outcomes.”

BCAM president Dr Uliana Gout commented that the new law is a positive step towards regulation and furthers BCAM’s aim of aesthetic medicine being recognised as a specialty in its own right.

Dr Gout said, “Most people wrongly assumed that these treatments were already outlawed for under-18s, so this is fantastic news for those of us campaigning for regulation of the sector. BCAM is proud to support the Bill and to collaborate with the Department of Health and Social Care on national data collection which helps to inform and influence government decision-making.”

On behalf of the BACN, chair and Aesthetics Clinical Advisory Board member Sharon Bennett, commented, “Legislation in cosmetic medical practice is long overdue. We have legislation in place to prevent under-18s from having a tattoo or a sunbed session, so it is astonishing that legislation has not been in place for this age group from the use of botulinum toxin and fillers. Children should be prevented access to these treatments to protect them from themselves and social pressures, unscrupulous practitioners and from those without a medical qualification. The Bill is therefore a welcome step and, as Chair of BACN, I fully support it.”

Other industry stakeholders are also in support of the new bill. Eddie Hooker, CEO of Hamilton Fraser Cosmetic Insurance stated, “This regulation is long overdue and we hope that it will be a significant step towards wider regulation around injectables in the future. We remain committed to raising standards and will continue campaigning for regulation in the cosmetic sector, collaborating with the JCCP, government and other stakeholders to educate and influence the law.”

Following Royal Assent, the Bill will become law later this year, making it illegal for practitioners to treat under-18s with botulinum toxin injections and filler treatments. These procedures will still be available to under-18s from a limited range of registered health professionals where there is an assessed medical need. 

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