The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) is encouraging the Capital Region District (CRD) to support a proposal at their regular meeting tomorrow to ban indoor tanning for youth under 18. If approved, the CRD will become the first BC jurisdiction to take this step.
The CRD's meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, December 8 at 2:00 p.m. at 625 Fisgard Street, Victoria and the meeting is open to media and the public. CCS volunteers and members of the local youth team are expected to be in attendance.
Since September, CCS and a team of local youth have been mobilizing an email and petition campaign. They have also appeared and made presentations to the CRD's indoor tanning public consultation process.
"We are really hopeful that the CRD will respond to the public's support for this issue and do the right thing to protect public health," said Emily Koide, a 17-year old CCS volunteer. "Many of my peers know that indoor tanning can cause cancer, but they still do it anyway. We need to prevent that and raise awareness about melanoma risks."
The CCS estimates there will be 790 new cases of melanoma in BC over the coming year - and 130 deaths. "Any use of indoor tanning equipment before the age of 35 has been found to increase the risk of melanoma by 75 per cent," said Kathy Ilott, CCS Regional Manager for Vancouver Island. "Public support for this bylaw is there and clearly there is strong health evidence to back it up."
The World Health Organization's International Agency for Research on Cancer upgraded the classification of indoor tanning from a possible to a known carcinogen in 2009. Last week, Nova Scotia introduced Legislation to ban people under the age of 19 from using tanning beds and the Ontario Medical Association called on their provincial government to do the same.
According to a poll conducted earlier this year by the Vancouver Island Health Authority, more than 75% of Greater Victoria residents support a ban on indoor tanning for youth under 18.
Source: CANADIAN CANCER SOCIETY (BC AND YUKON DIVISION)