Sunbeds could be banned within months for under-18s.
After a lengthy period of dithering, Health Secretary Andy Burnham will back tough measures to protect 'tanorexic' teenagers.
Unstaffed, coin-operated tanning booths, which are used by children as young as 11, would also be outlawed.
The move follows a sharp rise in skin cancer deaths among young women using sunbeds.
A ban has already come into force in Scotland. Wales has announced it will follow suit.
But the Department of Health failed to act even after the World Health Organisation in the summer reclassified sunbeds as being as carcinogenic as cigarettes, arsenic and asbestos.
Last year, a judge called for measures to stop the 'reckless' use of sunbeds after 14-year-old Kirsty McRae suffered 70 per cent burns after using a sunbed in an unmanned salon.
She put £1 into the coin-operated sunbed at the walk-in Lextan salon in Barry, Vale of Glamorgan, owned by James Hadley, 25.
After four minutes the schoolgirl paid an extra £3 for 15 more minutes because she felt she wasn't tanned enough.
Magistrates heard the teenager was rushed to hospital four hours later suffering from horrific burns and was put on a drip.
Hadley was prosecuted under health and safety laws with the judge branding the operation of an unmanned salon 'reckless'.