Canadian Cancer Society supports Skin Cancer Prevention Act to be introduced
today in Ontario

TORONTO, April 13 /CNW/ - The Canadian Cancer Society supports the Skin Cancer Prevention Act, which will be introduced this afternoon in the Ontario Legislature by France Gélinas, MPP from Nickel Belt and Khalil Ramal, MPP from London Fanshawe.

"We congratulate MPPs Gélinas and Ramal for addressing this important public health issue," says Rowena Pinto, Senior Director, Public Affairs, Canadian Cancer Society, Ontario Division. "Indoor tanning among youth is troubling as melanoma skin cancer - the most deadly form - is one of the most common forms of cancer between the ages of 15-29."

The private members bill to be introduced today will protect the health of Ontario youth by preventing youth under the age of 19 from using indoor tanning equipment as well as measures such as marketing restrictions and equipment registration.

For more than three years, the Canadian Cancer Society in Ontario has been advocating to all political parties to put legislation in place that protects public health by not permitting youth to use indoor tanning equipment.

Studies have shown that indoor tanning before the age of 35 raises the risk of melanoma by 75%. 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.

"There's no question that indoor tanning causes skin cancer," says Pinto.

In August 2009, the World Health Organization upgraded the classification of UV-emitting devices, including tanning beds, from a probable carcinogen to a known carcinogen - in other words, from something that is believed to cause cancer to something that is known to cause cancer.

"We're also pleased that, as we understand, the Skin Cancer Prevention Act will include much-needed additional measures that will help protect the health of youth," says Pinto.

In addition to preventing youth from using indoor tanning equipment, Society volunteers and staff have been calling for measures such as:

    
    -  Prohibiting the marketing of indoor tanning targeting youth.

    -  Developing and maintaining a registry of indoor tanning equipment in
       use in Ontario.

    -  Comprehensive, Ontario specific training for all staff operating
       indoor tanning equipment.

    -  Requiring signage placed in clear view of all indoor tanning equipment
       outlining the health risks of indoor tanning.
    

A poll commissioned by the Society in 2009 showed that 80% of Ontarians would support the provincial government putting legislation in place that restricts use of indoor tanning equipment for youth under 18 years of age.

"There is proven public support for our call to action," adds Pinto.

The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.

SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)

For further information: For further information: Media contact: Christine Koserski, Public Affairs, Ontario Division, Canadian Cancer Society: (416) 323-7030 or ckoserski@ontario.cancer.ca


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