BEIJING - A Chinese city is set to ban minors from having cosmetic surgery under draft rules aimed at tackling the country's growing obsession with going under the knife, an official statement said.
The rules for Guangzhou city have been drawn up as concerns grow about the dangers of plastic surgery in a country where three million people have operations each year to change their appearances, according to state media.
If passed by local lawmakers later this year, the law will also require parents of minors to consent to any cosmetic surgery for medical reasons performed on their children, according to a statement on the city's official website.
"If approved, the regulation will be the first rule that has addressed the issue of plastic surgery for under-18s in China," medical lawyer Zhao Yin told the state-run China Daily newspaper on Wednesday, adding that she hoped the laws would be rolled out across the country.
The regulations for Guangzhou, which is the capital of Guangdong province in southern China, would come into force early next year.
Chinese youths are turning to plastic surgery as they become increasingly obsessed with beauty, experts claim.
"Cities nationwide have seen younger and younger people undergoing plastic surgery in recent years," Yang Jianguang, a law professor at Sun Yatsen University in Guangzhou told the China Daily.
"In the pursuit of a fashionable or pretty look, these youngsters may make an ill-thought out decision to undergo a procedure that could harm their health."
Concern about patient safety heightened with the death of aspiring pop singer Wang Bei during plastic surgery in 2010.
The Ministry of Health in August urged local health officials to tighten controls.
The most popular treatments include minor adjustments to the face, such as nasal enlargement and "double-eyelid" surgery, which makes the eyes look bigger or more "Western".
Other procedures include liposuction, nose jobs and breast enhancement.