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Ontario’s tanning bed legislation passes final vote

Ontario is moving forward to protect young people against skin cancer with the recent passage of the Skin Cancer Prevention Act, according to a statement from the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

November 8, 2013  By Mari-Len De

The new law restricts youth under 18 from using tanning beds. This
age group is especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of
ultraviolet (UV) radiation, the ministry said. The act also prohibits
marketing of tanning services targeted at youth, requires tanning bed
operators to request identification from anyone who appears under 25,
and sets fines for operators who fail to comply with the law.

young people from harmful UV radiation produced by tanning beds helps
deliver on the government’s Action Plan for Health Care, the ministry
said, part of the Ontario government’s economic plan to invest in people
and infrastructure, and support a dynamic and innovative business

"By passing this bill, we are saving lives," Health and
Long-Term Care Minister Deb Matthews. "Restricting access to tanning
beds is one of the most important things we can do to help reduce the
risk of skin cancer for our young people. I want to thank everyone who
worked so hard to pass this lifesaving bill.”

The new rules under
the Skin Cancer Prevention Act will be enforced by public health units.
The government will consult widely in the coming months on the
development of regulations to support the legislation, the ministry


The act also includes self-tanning restrictions that
prohibit the use of tanning beds that do not require the presence of an

The World Health Organization’s International Agency
for Research on Cancer reports that the risk of skin cancer —
particularly melanoma — increases by 75 per cent when tanning beds are
used prior to the age of 35. The incidence of melanoma in Ontario has
been rising in youth and young adults (ages 15-34) — especially among
females aged 25 to 34 – the ministry said.

Kate Neale, who was
diagnosed with skin cancer at 21 years old, welcomed the new
legislation. "I’m 23 now and living with the reality that I’ve wrecked
my health because I used indoor tanning beds as a teen. I’ve always
hoped that one day, no young person in Ontario would be able to use
indoor tanning beds like I did. Thanks to the efforts of many, this hope
is now a reality.”

"The Canadian Cancer Society celebrates today
the collaborative efforts undertaken by thousands of Society
volunteers, staff, donors and other stakeholders who have made the
#tanbedban movement and the passage of this bill successful," said
Martin Kabat, chief executive officer, Canadian Cancer Society Ontario
Division. "As we continue to work together towards reducing the number
of lives adversely affected by cancer, this piece of legislation will
not only help prevent skin cancer but raise awareness about the dangers
of indoor tanning.”

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