Kelowna-The Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon, applauds the announcement made this week by the Honourable Health Minister, Michael de Jong, to restrict access to tanning beds for young people under the age of 18. The regulation is anticipated to take effect this fall, says Amanda Harris, Health Promotion Coordinator in Kelowna, BC.
“This is another step forward in cancer prevention,” said Barbara Kaminsky, CEO, Canadian Cancer Society, BC and Yukon. “The decision to introduce this healthy public policy has the support of the majority of British Columbians, and will help protect young people from getting skin cancer later in life.”
Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada and over-exposure to ultraviolet radiation from the sun and indoor tanning equipment is the major cause of skin cancer. Thegood news is that skin cancer is also one of the most preventable cancers.
Youth are particularly vulnerable: the use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 75 per cent. Melanoma skin cancer – the most serious form of skin cancer - is one of the most commonly diagnosed cancers in youth between the ages of 15 and 29. Further, the incidence rates of melanoma skin cancer are increasing each year.
Parental consent does not work: the Canadian Cancer Society has been calling on the BC government to implement province-wide legislation banning those under the age of 18 from using artificial tanning equipment because:
The local mobilization of Tanning is Out ambassadors across BC played a role in prompting the BC government to ban teens under 18 from using tanning beds. In the Interior Region, there have been numerous initiatives in Kelowna, Vernon, Merritt, Clearwater, and 100 Mile House.
Many people across the province took this issue to heart and into the schools. Canadian Cancer Society Health Promotion Coordinators worked with local youth volunteers in 18 high schools in 2011 to develop and implement the Tanning is Out campaign during the spring of 2011. Over 3,000 grade 12 students pledged to be tan-free for prom or graduation in 2011 and the Canadian Cancer Society is confident the number of students who pledge to be tan-free in 2012 will be much higher. Interior Region high schools are pledging throughout the month of March and over 1000 pledges have been received so far.
The Canadian Cancer Society fights cancer by doing everything it can to prevent cancer, save lives and support people living with cancer. Go to www.cancergameplan.ca to find out more about our prevention activities.
When you want to know more about cancer, visit cancer.ca or call our toll-free bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
For more information contact:
Amanda Harris, Health Promotion Coordinator
Canadian Cancer Society
Email: [email protected]