A Conservative MP who wants teens to kick tanning has praised Ontario for embracing new regulations but wants tougher rules across Canada.
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced Friday the Ontario government will adopt a tanning bill banning use by youth under 18 but Conservative MP James Bezan says federal intervention is needed.
“I think that this is a good move but we definitely have to still go forward with a federal law that will make sure that all jurisdictions in Canada are prohibiting use,” Bezan said.
The Manitoba MP introduced a private member’s bill in December 2011 calling for a ban on the use of tanning beds for people under 18 and for strict warning label rules for salons.
“My wife is a melanoma survivor. She has had a few different bouts with it. We count ourselves blessed and lucky that she is free and clear now,” Bezan said, citing that his wife had to have part of her lung removed. “(She) and I have both been users of tanning equipment, and since then it has become my passion to help raise public awareness.”
In 2009, the World Health Organization’s leading source on cancer information announced it moved tanning devices up to its highest cancer risk category – “carcinogenic to humans.”
New Brunswick and Saskatchewan recently introduced voluntarily regulations for the use of tanning beds by people under 18, which means parental consent is required.
In Nova Scotia and Newfoundland, people under 19 are unable to use commercial beds. British Columbia also announced in March it would impose a ban on commercial tanning for people under 18 unless a doctor’s note is issued.
“It is great to see politicians recognizing very compelling data which proves that these devices cause cancer and the risks are greater when you start when you are younger,” said Dr. Ian Landells, a dermatologist and the former president of the Canadian Dermatology Association (CDA).
Landells says tanning advertising directed at children should also be barred.