In Sask., education, but no tanning bed ban for teens
Saskatchewan is among the provinces that doesn't ban teens from using tanning beds, although the Canadian Cancer Society thinks it should.
The provincial government has guidelines for tanning salons. It recommends that people under the age of 18 should not be allowed to use tanning equipment without parental consent, but the rule isn't mandatory.
According to the World Health Organization, ultraviolet radiation causes skin cancer and people under 18 should not use UV tanning beds.
But with high school graduation events around the corner, teens like Qu'Appelle's Kaela Witkowski are heading to the tanning salons so they'll have a nice bronzed look for their photos.
Witkowski, 18, lies in an ultraviolet tanning bed three times per week to get the look she wants, even though she knows about the health risks.
"That's why I'm not going to be tanning, like, after grad," she said. "It's just kind of a quick tan for me so I can get all darker before grad. But yeah, I do worry about it, but I try not to think about it."
The tanning industry agrees that parents should give consent, but a CBC hidden-camera investigation in salons in Vancouver, Calgary, Winnipeg, Hamilton, Windsor and St. John's found 20 out of 31 salons didn't follow the industry guideline.
In Saskatchewan, the provincial government is developing a UV education campaign called Sun Smart, but it won't launch in time to influence this year's crop of graduates.
Donna Ziegler, a spokeswoman for the Saskatchewan branch of the Canadian Cancer Society, thinks there should be mandatory rules for the industry in this province.
"We would like to see legislation banning youth under 18 from using indoor tanning beds," she said. "There needs to be regulations and public education because we know that that's more of a forceful approach."
However, for now the provincial government says it favours education over regulation.