Jenna Gaube was in high school when she started using tanning beds to achieve a healthy glow, against her parents’ wishes.
She did not associate indoor tanning with skin cancer.
She does now. And has since the spring of 2010, while working on a university-class assignment on indoor tanning.
“I had no intentions of quitting, but I thought I would do a little research,” says Jenna, who was 23 and a "very active indoor tanner". She worked part time at a tanning salon and tanned before winter vacations.
"Who knew this research would change my attitudes, beliefs and direction in life.”
“What really bothers me is that tanning salons continued to tell me that I was getting a healthy dose of vitamin D, and that I needed a base tan to protect myself from burning. They also mentioned that it was important to have a base tan before going away on a hot holiday – all myths."
Recently, Jenna encouraged Relay For Life participants to sign the Canadian Cancer Society petition asking the Saskatchewan government to prohibit the sale of indoor tanning services to people under the age of 18.
“Minors need to be protected from using indoor tanning equipment,” Jenna says. “By signing the petition, we can be that ‘someone.’ We can help save lives by advocating for change.”
Saskatchewan lags behind other provinces, such as Nova Scotia, British Columbia and Quebec, in protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning.