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Should teenagers be banned from tanning salons?

Categories: Canada, Health, News Promo

Ontario is considering a provincewide ban on indoor tanning for anyone under 18, following B.C. and Nova Scotia in banning tanning beds for teens.

 Nova Scotia has a ban on teens tanning and B.C. is planning one in the fall. (iStock)France Gelinas, the province's NDP health critic, will introduce a private member's bill Thursday that would not only ban those under 18 from tanning, but would also restrict marketing and promotion aimed at younger clients.

"Tanning salons directly target youth through advertising in yearbooks and in schools before prom and graduation," Gelinas said in a news release.

"Not only do the salons either not know or play down the lifelong consequences of excess exposure to UV rays, they make tanning accessible and attractive for young people," she said.

The Canadian Cancer Society supports Gelinas' proposed Skin Cancer Prevention act.

If the bill is passed, Ontario would join Nova Scotia, which bans children under 19 from using tanning beds, and B.C., which is seeking to introduce similar regulations in the fall for children under 18.

Victoria passed a bylaw against indoor tanning for those under 18 in 2011. New Brunswick has voluntary guidelines that keep kids out of tanning salons.

Several countries, including France, the U.K. and Australia, have national tanning restrictions for youth.

The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) published a position statement in February calling for a countrywide ban. The CPS says 25 per cent of Canadian youth between 13 and 19 years have used a tanning salon.

The World Health Organization and the Canadian Medical Association have issued similar statements about young people and tanning.

Should minors be banned from using tanning salons across Canada? Or is leaving the issue up to provinces and cities enough to protect children? Let us know what you think.

(This survey is not scientific. Results are based on readers' responses.)

Tags: Health, Ontario

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