New Poll Results Released: Canadian Cancer Society calls on BC government to protect youth by restricting indoor tanning for those under 18

12 January 2012

Vancouver -

With a new poll showing strong public support for regulations which would prohibit youth under 18 from using indoor tanning equipment, the Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the BC government to introduce legislation as soon as possible in order to protect the health of BC’s youth. 

“The BC government has the ability to protect youth from a known carcinogen,” says Barbara Kaminsky, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society BC and Yukon. “The risk to young people is especially concerning – in fact, any use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 has been found to increase the risk of the most severe form of skin cancer – melanoma – by 75%,” says Kaminsky.   

Findings from the online survey, commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society and conducted by Mustel Group Market Research, show that 75% of British Columbians would support legislation banning indoor tanning for youth under 18. 

“The findings are not surprising,” says Kaminsky. “By eliminating exposure to this known carcinogen at a young age, we can help prevent skin cancer.” 

Adele Green, co-president of Youth Against Cancer at the University of Victoria could not agree more. “A lot of my friends in high school chose to tan despite knowing the risks,” says Green. “I hope that by the time my eight-year old sister reaches high school she will not experience the peer pressure to tan that many young people face today.”

Nakisa Kiai, 18-year old University of BC Student and Tanning is Out Ambassador, supports a ban on indoor tanning and is encouraging youth to do the same. “I think the youth of BC need to know that bringing an end to the culture of indoor tanning is ongoing and every person who chooses not to tan is encouraging others to own their own skin tone.” 

Tanning salon bans for youth are currently in place in the Capital Regional District of Vancouver Island, the province of Nova Scotia, the US state of Maryland and the Countries of Australia, Brazil, England, France and Scotland. 

To facilitate increased public participation, the Society created a special web-link at where British Columbians can sign a petition calling on the BC government to protect youth from melanoma by prohibiting indoor tanning for those under 18.    

  • 1.  Support was found among all key demographic segments; even users of tanning equipment tend to support tanning bed legislation
  • 2.  Support for restricting youth from using indoor tanning equipment increases to 87% when respondents were provided with further information about the effects of Ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure
  • 3.  Among those 15-29 years of age, support increased to 81% when provided with further information about the effects of UVR exposure
  • 4.  Even those who have used tanning equipment in the past year support the proposed legislatio
  • A complete copy of the online survey is available at .


The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Kathryn Seely

Director, Public Issues

Phone: (604) 675-7108