Research has confirmed that the use of indoor tanning equipment increases the likelihood of skin cancer, especially for long-term users who start in their teens. Knowing this and that melanoma is one of the most common cancers for youth between the ages of 15-29, Society staff worked extensively with this demographic over the past several years through their Tanning is Out initiative.
This initiative began in 2010 at a Vancouver High School with students pledging to be “tan-free” for their graduation. The initiative grew substantially, with close to 20,000 students from across BC pledging to be tan-free between 2010 - 2014. Building upon the success of the high school challenges, the Tanning Is Out Initiative carried into the summer months and volunteer ambassadors increased awareness about the dangers of tanning at outdoor events and beaches.
Through social media, presence at community events across the province and advocacy, the Tanning Is Out campaign achieved an incredible amount of provincial and national media attention. The campaign laid the groundwork for provincial legislation we have today that restricts the use of tanning beds for youth under the age of 18.