Canadian Cancer Society applauds BC for protecting youth from indoor tanning; urges Ontario government to take action

21 March 2012

TORONTO -

The Canadian Cancer Society applauds British Columbia for its plans to introduce regulations preventing young people from using indoor tanning.

“We urge the Ontario government to follow suit and take action to protect the health of youth,” says Rowena Pinto, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division.

The Society has been advocating for more than six years for provincial legislation to prohibit youth under 18 years of age from accessing indoor tanning equipment. The Skin Cancer Prevention Act (Bill C31), a private members bill supported by the Society, died in May 2011 before the provincial election.

Ontarians support such legislation. An Ipsos Reid poll conducted in June 2011 and commissioned by the Society showed that:

  • 83% of Ontarians support a ban on indoor tanning by youth under 18 years
  • 77% said youth should be prevented from using tanning beds
  • 73% of Ontarians polled said the tanning industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself and government legislation is needed
  • 80% of Ontarians support legislation to regulate the tanning industry

Research has concluded that using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma skin cancer by 75%.

“With such strong evidence and public support, we question why the Ontario government is holding back on legislation that can potentially save lives,” says Pinto.

In the meantime, Society volunteers and staff have been working hard at the municipal level making deputations to councils across Ontario. As a result, there have been resolutions in support of provincial legislation passed in Prince Edward County, Sarnia, Belleville, Brighton and Petrolia.

The Society is sending more than 12,000 letters to MPPs across the province and the three main party leaders currently in a letter-writing campaign calling for action on provincial indoor tanning legislation.

“We are gathering momentum to show the Ontario government that this issue is important and needs to be addressed at the provincial level so that all youth in Ontario are protected from the dangers of indoor tanning,” says Pinto.

To learn more about the Society’s policy recommendations on indoor tanning, visit Indoor Tanning

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 www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

For more information, please contact:

Justin Edmonstone

Public Affairs

Canadian Cancer Society

Ontario Division

Phone: 416-323-7026