Mind & Body

D-day for teen tanning ban

 | October 15, 2012

Changes to a provincial regulation banning youth under the age of 18 from ultraviolet (UV) tanning are now in force to reduce the chances of developing skin cancer later in life.

Effective Oct. 15, 2012, businesses that fail to post the required sign informing the public of the ban, or who violate the ban by unlawfully permitting minors to use their indoor tanning equipment without a prescription, will face a fine of $345 for each offence.

Under the Public Health Act youth under the age of 18 are now banned from using commercial UV indoor tanning beds unless they have a medical prescription for a condition such as psoriasis that requires ultraviolet light treatment. Today’s announcement follows the government’s commitment in March to ban youth from indoor tanning.

The March 20, 2012, tanning bed ban announcement followed the release of a report compiled by an Indoor Tanning Working Group. The report was issued to provide recommendations and options.

The World Health Organization has found that indoor tanning before the age of 35 raises the risk of melanoma by 75 per cent. Melanoma is the most deadly type of skin cancer. In Canada, the incidence rates of melanoma are rising every year. Overall, skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in Canada, and yet it is also one of the most preventable.

In 2012, the BC Cancer Agency estimates that 966 British Columbians will be diagnosed with melanoma and 150 will die of it. One in 69 females and one in 56 males is expected to develop melanoma during their lifetime. One in 413 females and one in 284 males is expected to die of melanoma.