Sydney - Shocked by an apparent rise in the number of teens seeking breast implants, Botox injections and nose jobs, the leader of Australia's most populous state has said new laws are needed to make it harder for young people to go under the knife.
The New South Wales state Premier Morris Iemma told the Sunday Telegraph newspaper that the number of people under 18 seeking cosmetic enhancements had recently gotten out of hand.
"It used to be the case that the biggest question parents faced was whether to give their children permission to have their ears pierced," Iemma told the paper.
"Then it was tattoos. But, increasingly, parents are being asked to fund breast implants or a nose job as birthday or graduation gifts," he added.
The report said Iemma plans to introduce new laws requiring teenagers to get a referral from their doctor and undergo counselling before receiving plastic surgery.
Parental consent will also be required, and surgeons will be forced to offer a minimum one-month cooling-off period before conducting any procedure, the report said.
But Dr Norm Olbourne of the Australian Society of Plastic Surgeons said many young people have legitimate reasons for undergoing surgery, and that there was no statistical data to back the premier's claim that more teens are seeking purely cosmetic procedures.
"I'm concerned that if there was legislation it might preclude young people who not only deserve but need cosmetic surgery for their well being," he told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. - Sapa-AP