Canadian Cancer Society celebrates Ontario #tanbedban effective May 1

30 April 2014

Toronto -

The Society celebrates the implementation of Ontario’s Skin Cancer Prevention Act on May 1. This legislation prohibits youth under 18 from accessing tanning beds in Ontario.

“In 2013, 2,950 Ontarians were expected to be diagnosed with melanoma,” says Martin Kabat, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. “We are thrilled to see this legislation implemented. We have waited a long time for this day. Indoor tanning is dangerous and we need to protect our youth, who are particularly vulnerable. This measure is an important step in preventing skin cancer and saving lives.”

Melanoma skin cancer – the most deadly form – is the fourth most common form of cancer among young Ontarians aged 15-29 and is mostly preventable. Using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases a person’s risk of developing melanoma skin cancer.

Woman in tanning bed

The Act bans not only the use of indoor tanning equipment by youth under age 18 but also the marketing of tanning services to youth. The legislation requires tanning salons to request ID from anyone who appears to be under the age of 25, sets a maximum $25,000 fine for salons that are not compliant with the law and requires mandatory warning signs that display the risks associated with indoor tanning equipment.

“I grew up seeing my mom battle melanoma skin cancer,” says Alysha Rosaasen, Grade 12 student and a Canadian Cancer Society youth volunteer. “I didn’t want anyone else to have to experience that, especially youth my age, so I joined the Society’s youth troop movement to educate my peers on the dangers of tanning beds. I’m excited to be a part of the successful passing of this legislation and even more excited that as of tomorrow youth will be banned from using tanning beds.”

The Society has been placing the issue of indoor tanning and youth on the political agenda since 2005. That year, Society volunteers met with MPPs at Queen’s Park to inform them about the dangers associated with indoor tanning, particularly for youth, and to push for provincial indoor tanning legislation in Ontario. Since then, volunteers have been back at Queen’s Park, met with MPPs and participated in numerous letter-writing campaigns.

The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is the only national charity that supports Canadians with all cancers in communities across the country. No other organization does what we do; we are the voice for Canadians who care about cancer. We fund groundbreaking research, provide a support system for all those affected by cancer and advocate to governments for important social change.

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For more information, please contact:

Susan Fekete

Communications Manager

Canadian Cancer Society

Phone: 613-565-2522 ext 4985