Soon it Will be "Lights Out" for Ontario's Tanning Teens

Canadian Cancer Society congratulates McGuinty government on plans to adopt NDP Private Member's bill banning youth under 18 from indoor tanning

TORONTO, Sept. 14, 2012 /CNW/ - Canadian Cancer Society officials were on hand this morning when Premier Dalton McGuinty announced plans to adopt NDP Health Critic, France Gélinas' Private Member's bill which aims to ban youth under 18 from using indoor tanning equipment.

"We are thrilled with this decision because it will save lives and reduce the devastating impact of skin cancer," says Joanne Di Nardo, Senior Manager of Public Issues for the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario. "We thank Ms. Gélinas for introducing Bill 74 and look forward to working with the government to iron out details and ensure that the legislation is as comprehensive as possible to protect young people from the dangers of indoor tanning."

The Canadian Cancer Society is pleased that the government has recognized the strong consensus in the scientific community that the ultraviolet radiation (UVR) emitted by indoor tanning equipment causes cancer. In 2009, the world's foremost authority in identifying the causes of cancer, the International Agency for Research on Cancer, classified ultraviolet radiation devices, including tanning beds, as known carcinogens. The skin damage caused by UVR is cumulative over a person's life, meaning the earlier a person starts tanning, the greater their risk of developing skin cancer later in life. In July, an expert review of current research published in the British Medical Journal showed that people who first started using indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 have an 87 per cent increased risk of melanoma skin cancer.

"The Canadian Cancer Society has been on the front lines advocating on this important cancer prevention issue for more than six years," says Di Nardo. "During this time, our volunteers and staff across the province have met with MPPs, written letters to the editor and brought awareness of the dangers of indoor tanning through campaigns such as the Tan-Free Prom initiative which challenged youth to embrace their "natural glow" by pledging to avoid indoor tanning for their proms."

With this announcement Ontario is on track to join a growing list of Canadian municipalities and provincial governments who have taken action to regulate the indoor tanning industry, such as the Capital Regional District in British Columbia, Nova Scotia, Quebec and others.

About the Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division

The Canadian Cancer Society is your best partner in the fight against cancer. We have more impact against more cancers in more communities than any other cancer charity in Canada. Through our mission, we fight more than 200 different types of cancer on numerous fronts. From cancer prevention activities to advocacy efforts on important issues, we give a voice to cancer patients and their families. We also fund world-class research and offer free information and support services that are proven to decrease stress and anxiety in patients and caregivers. The work of the Canadian Cancer Society is supported by our volunteers and the generous support fundraising campaigns such as Daffodil Month and Relay For Life. To learn more, call 1 888 939-3333 or visit www.cancer.ca.

SOURCE: Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

For further information:

Camille Beaubien, Canadian Cancer Society, 416 323-7023, cbeaubien@ontario.cancer.ca

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Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

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