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Indoor tanning

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, but it’s also one of the most preventable. Exposure to UV rays – whether from the sun’s rays, tanning beds or sun lamps – increases the risk for non-melanoma and melanoma skin cancers. There is no safe way to get a tan. To reduce your risk of getting skin cancer, do not use artificial tanning equipment such as tanning beds or sun lamps.

More on indoor tanning

  • Our position

    The Society is committed to protecting Canadians from the harms of indoor tanning.

    • People under the age of 18 must not be allowed by law to use indoor tanning equipment.
    • Indoor tanning advertising aimed at people under the age of 18 must be banned.
    • Indoor tanning regulations must require UV-emitting devices to be registered, staff to be licensed, and equipment and premises to be inspected regularly.
    • UV-emitting devices must be labelled in a way that clearly explains the health risks.
    • The indoor tanning industry must stop using misleading phrases such as safe, no harmful rays, no adverse effects or similar wording.
  • Get involved: raise awareness of skin cancer
    Educate the next generation

    Teach your children how to protect their skin while they're young. You'll protect them now and reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.

    Encourage a tan-free graduation

    Get your high school or post-secondary institution involved in the tan free initiative. You will teach students why they should avoid indoor tanning beds and hel them reduce their risk of developing skin cancer.

    Spread awareness in your workplace or community

    Book a presentation from the Canadian Cancer Society for your community or workplace to help those around you reduce their risk of developing cancer.

    Volunteer with the Canadian Cancer Society

    We are always looking for volunteers to assist with presentations and displays on sun safety, indoor tanning and the UV camera. If you are interested in becoming involved, please email today

    Spread the word on social media

    Helping us to spread the message about sun safety and embracing natural skin tone is crucial to the tan-free movement. If you are interested in our content and want to stay in the loop with all of the exciting presentations and contests that we are running please follow us:

     Instagram @TanFreeSK  Twitter @TanFreeSK Facebook TanFreeSK
    We are making progress

    In March 2015, Saskatchewan became the last province to announce plans to ban anyone under the age of 18 from using an indoor tanning bed. A 2013 provincial survey by Sun Smart Saskatchewan found that nearly 1 in 5 teenagers has used indoor tanning beds. A quarter of them started when they were 12 years old or younger. The survey also found that more than 80 per cent of teens are aware that tanning beds can cause cancer but continue to use them anyway.

    The Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan is one of many health groups raising awareness about the importance of skin protection. Help us spread the word by joining our Facebook page.

    Undercover investigation of Saskatchewan tanning salons

    Read more about our position and ways to protect your skin for life

  • The tan-free movement

    19 going on 70 banner
    When our skin tans in response to being exposed to UV rays outside or in an indoor tanning bed it is an indication of damage to the DNA of those skin cells. This means that no tan is a safe tan. To combat the myth of the “healthy glow” or “healthy tan”, we encourage all Canadians to embrace the skin tone that they have naturally, to protect it, and to never feel pressured to get a tan.

    The Canadian Cancer Society is working hard to dispel the myth of the “healthy” tan and to spread awareness about skin cancer by delivering presentations to high schools and post-secondary institutions province-wide, by working with organizations and businesses that employ outdoor workers, and by having a social media presence that encourages enjoying the sun safely and embracing everyone’s natural skin tone. 

    This is what the Tan Free Movement in Saskatchewan is all about. We hope that you decide to become involved.

    photo of students
    High school students

    Graduating from high school is an important moment in anyone’s life, and graduates want to look their best for the special occasion! Unfortunately, tanning beds are often associated with grad season and we want to make sure that students don’t feel the need to alter their skin tone before they graduate. We know that when someone under the age of 35 uses an indoor tanning device they increase their risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59%. The risk just isn’t worth it.

    For the past three years, the Canadian Cancer Society has been working with high schools across the province to implement a student-led initiative called “Tan Free Grad”. Schools in Prince Albert, North Battleford, Weyburn, Moose Jaw, Fort Qu’Appelle, Melfort and Saskatoon have taken on the challenge. Student committees in all of these locations worked hard to make posters, deliver or schedule presentations, host awareness lunches with the UV camera and encourage signed pledges from students that they would be going to grad tan-free. In 2015, over 2000 students heard a Tan-Free presentation, approximately 1000 had they UV photo taken to learn about sun damage, and over 600 students pledged that they would be going to graduation embracing natural, healthy skin tone.

    New indoor tanning legislation in Saskatchewan
    The Saskatchewan government announced in 2015 that they would be moving forward with indoor tanning legislation to protect minors from those devices, and as of November 2015 minors (under the age of 18) are no longer able to legally use those indoor tanning beds. We applaud the Saskatchewan government for moving forward on this issue!

    With the introduction of this legislation, we know that most high school students will be protected from the risks of indoor tanning devices; however we still have lots of work to do to debunk the myths around indoor and outdoor tanning. We encourage all high schools across the province to consider booking a presentation and UV camera session for their students. The information is so valuable and just might save a student’s life.

    Book a presentation at your local high school

    student trying photomation camera

    Post-secondary institutions
    To spread the tan free messaging among those who are not yet protected by indoor tanning legislation in our province, we offer presentations and UV camera sessions to post-secondary institutions across the province. In 2016, we presented at over 12 post-secondary institutions province-wide and will be continuing to work with interested institutions and post-secondary programs over the coming years. We’ve exposed over a 1000 post-secondary students from a variety of backgrounds (education, nursing, pharmacy, and more) to the Tan-Free messaging with the hopes that they can use it themselves and be future educators about UV safety in the future.

    Book a presentation for your post-secondary institution or program

  • Tan-free selfie contest

    In 2016, participants were encouraged to share a selfie of themselves practicing sun safety or embracing natural skin tone on Instagram and mention @TanFreeSK. We are so happy with the contest entries that we received this year and congratulate @bear_shark19, @daddysask, and @brigiacchet for each winning a $100 gift card!

    Tan-free selfie image
  • 2016 Public Education Award

    CDA Unveils Winners of 2016 Public Education Awards

    OTTAWA, Ont., June 20, 2016 – The Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA) today announced the three initiatives selected to receive public education awards for the role they played in educating Canadians about dermatology-related issues and helping people make better choices for healthier skin, hair and nails.

    “This year’s winners showed tremendous initiative, creativity and ingenuity in educating the public on critical skin health issues,” said Dr. Vince Bertucci, president of the CDA. “Sound knowledge is so important to maintaining good health, and we are delighted to be able to recognize three recipients who have helped put this knowledge in the hands of Canadians.”

    The three winners are:
    • In the not-for-profit category, the Canadian Cancer Society, Saskatchewan Division, for its tanfree grad initiative, which enlisted the support of high schools in the province to encourage students to forego tanning for graduation, thus reducing their risk of contracting skin cancer in the future;
    • Also in the not-for-profit category, medical student Mr. Youcef Soufi, working on behalf of Sport Manitoba/Wrestling Canada, for his Skin Health And Awareness brochure, which deals with the unique demands placed upon the skin of athletes; and
    • In the industry category, Janssen Inc., for its Real Life Stories Documentary Psoriasis Series that took a very personal look at the social and psychological overtones of psoriasis.

    The Public Education Awards Program is designed to publicly recognize the role played by the media, not-for-profit health organizations and industry in furthering the understanding of dermatology issues and encouraging healthy behaviour in the medical, surgical and cosmetic care of skin, hair and nails.

    The 2016 awards go to projects that were completed in the 2015 calendar year. The recipients will be honored at the CDA’s Awards Ceremony in Saskatoon, SK, on June 25, 2016. Media are encouraged to attend, providing advance notice to the media contact listed at the end of this release.


    About the CDA

    The Canadian Dermatology Association, founded in 1925, represents Canadian dermatologists. The association provides easy access to the largest, most reliable source of medical knowledge on dermatology. CDA exists to advance the science and art of medicine and surgery related to the care of the skin, hair and nails; provide continuing professional development for its members; support and advance patient care; provide public education on sun protection and other aspects of skin health; and promote a lifetime of healthier skin, hair and nails. By doing so, CDA informs and empowers both medical professionals and the Canadian public. To learn more about what the work CDA does visit or join the conversation on or

    For further information please contact:

    Nimmi Sidhu, Coordinator, Communications
    Office: 613-738-1748 x 228

    Suzanne Joyal, Senior Marketing Strategist
    Office: 613-738-1748 x 222



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