Bill to Ban Cosmetic Injectables for Under 18s Progresses

The Bill to ban cosmetic injectables for under 18s in England has now progressed to the House of Lords.

Originally introduced to the House of Commons in February 2020, the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill seeks to make it illegal for children to receive these types of aesthetics treatments.

At present, there are no age requirements for injectables in the UK. This has led to concerns that, should the Bill pass, underage English children may still be able to obtain such treatments in Scotland, Ireland or Wales. 

Having passed the appropriate stages of consideration by the House of Commons, the Bill now sits with the House of Lords. On Friday 12 March 2021 it received its first reading in the Lords – a formality – and was ordered to be printed. A second hearing is due to be scheduled; this is where the Bill can be debated among members of the house. 

There are six further steps before the Bill may be passed into law. Continues below…

Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill Progress - Ban Cosmetic Injectables for Under 18s in England

Medical injectables not affected

This Bill seeks to ban botulinum toxin and “subcutaneous, submucous or intradermal injection of a filler” for cosmetic purposes in under 18s. It does not affect medical use, where botox is used to treat conditions such as Bell’s palsy or hyperhidrosis.

If it is successful, the Bill will also make business owners liable should staff – a “person other than an approved person” administer cosmetic injectables to anyone under 18 years of age. 

Where this happens, the Bill states that “any director, manager or secretary of the body corporate or any person who was purporting to act in any such capacity” may also be deemed liable for the offence.

Enforcing the Bill would be monitored and enforced by local authorities. It is thought that unlimited fines would be the punishment for the offences it sets out, should it be passed into law.

Widely supported

The Bill is sponsored by Laura Trott, Conservative MP for Sevenoaks, Kent. It has garnered widespread bipartisan support as well as backing from the aesthetics industry. 

In October 2020 Trott told parliament, “Alarmingly, this is an unregulated area. The data we have on prevalence is very thin, but a survey in 2018 showed that 100,000 under 16s had undergone cosmetic enhancements, with the most common being fillers. This is not only worrying for the mental health of our youngsters, but is worrying for their physical health too.”

Ministers who have spoken out in support of the potential ban include fellow Tories, Edward Agar, Minister of State for Health at the Department of Health and Social Care and Nadine Dorries, Minister for Mental Health, Suicide Prevention and Patient Safety.

Labour’s health minister, Kevan Jones MP, told the House of Commons, “Alongside this Bill, my department is also exploring a range of options for increased oversight of practitioners, including a system of registration or licensing.”

Harley Academy founder and CEO, Dr Tristan Mehta welcomes this positive update on the Bill’s progress, saying:

“This is a big step forward to achieving better regulation in aesthetics and, importantly, focusing on our most vulnerable cohort of patients – younger patients who feel increasing cultural and societal pressures to undergo treatments. I hope this can pave the way towards statutory regulatory requirements across the entirety of aesthetic medicine in the UK.”

We fully support the Botulinum Toxin and Cosmetic Fillers (Children) Bill and will bring you further updates as news becomes available.

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