Canadian Cancer Society congratulates Oakville in leading the fight against skin cancer: City passes Ontario’s first by-law to protect youth against the dangers of indoor tanning

14 August 2012


Late yesterday,Oakville Town Council took decisive action to protect the health of its youngest citizens by passing a by-law that restricts youth under 18 from accessing indoor tanning facilities.

The ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning beds has been proven to cause cancer. Recently, an expert review of current evidence published in the British Medical Journal showed that people who first started using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 have an 87 per cent increased risk of melanoma skin cancer. Melanoma is also one of the most deadly forms of cancer and most common amongst people ages 15 to 29.

On August 8, Canadian Cancer Society volunteer and long-time Oakville resident, Joan Gibb appeared before town council to highlight the importance of the issue. Last night, she was present in the council chamber as the by-law was passed. “Throughout the years, Oakville has been a leader in cancer prevention through its work in the areas of tobacco control and cosmetic pesticides,” says Gibb. “It’s inspiring to see my community continue to show leadership in addressing important cancer-related issues” she adds.

Oakville is the first city in Ontario to join a growing list of Canadian municipalities and provincial governments such as the Capital Regional District in British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Quebec who have taken action to regulate the tanning industry. Last year, a poll commissioned by the Canadian Cancer Society indicated that 83 per cent of Ontarians would support provincial government legislation that bans youth from using indoor tanning equipment.

“Oakville has shown its commitment to the fight against cancer by passing the first indoor tanning by-law in Ontario. Regulating the indoor tanning industry will save lives and help reverse the rising cost of skin cancer on an already exhausted healthcare system,” says Florentina Stancu-Soare, Public Issues Senior Coordinator for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario. “We hope this decision will lay the groundwork for other jurisdictions to follow suit,” adds Stancu-Soare.

The Society is calling for the Government of Ontario to support Private Member’s bill, Bill 74 – The Skin Cancer Prevention Act, that restricts youth under 18 years of age from using indoor tanning equipment. People can send a letter to their MPP by visiting or join the conversation on Twitter via #tanbedban.

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