Anti-tanning youth bill proposed again

A federal bill that would ban the use of artificial tanning equipment by youth under 18 has been tabled by a Manitoba MP.

MP James Bezan has again tabled a federal bill that would also mandate skin cancer signage.

A federal bill banning the use of artificial tanning equipment by youth under 18 was tabled by a Manitoba MP Thursday.

 James Bezan, MP for Selkirk-Interlake, tabled Bill C386, a private member's bill that would make articial tanning illegal for under 18s and would require labelling and signs to warn users of the risks associated with tanning beds. The machines emit ultraviolet radiation which has been linked to the development of skin cancer.

"Labels on equipment are going to be more pronounced," said Bezan, adding that they will clearly state that repeated use of tanning beds can increase a person's development of skin cancer. "Exposure is cumulative."


Should tanning beds be off limits to teens? Take our survey.

Endorsing the bill were Dan Demers, director of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society, and Dr. Ian Landells, president of the Canadian Dermatology Association. "Indoor tanning devices are carcinogenic — it's that simple," said Landells. "We need to regulate them."

"We call on all parliamentarians to support this important initiative that will protect the health of young Canadians across the country," said Demers. "We hope it will lead to national legislation to regulate this industry which continues to make false claims that tanning isn't dangerous.

In Canada, only Nova Scotia and the B.C. city of Victoria have bans on tanning for under 19s and under 18s respectively.

This is the second time Bezan has tried to have such legislation enacted. His first attempt was in March 2010.

Estimates for 2011 predict that 5,500 Canadians would be diagnosed with melanoma skin cancer with about 950 deaths, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Non-melanoma skin cancer is the most common form of cancer among Canadians, with 74,100 expected cases in 2011 and 270 expected deaths.