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2012-04-28 at 14:35

Banning tanning

By Jeff Labine,
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Thunder Bay’s regional hospital has put in its support for a private member’s bill that would ban youth under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.

MPP France Gelinas (NDP, Nickel Belt) introduced the bill on Thursday. The current Ontario regulations require youth under 16 to have written permission before getting a tan at a salon.

Kelly-Jo Gillis, manager for preventive services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, said the evidence shows tanning beds aren’t good for anyone and they would support the move by the NDP to ban youth from using them.

“There’s no safe exposure to tanning,” Gillis said. “The tanning industry will often tell people that it is healthier than sitting in the sun or that they are getting their dose of vitamin D but the evidence shows there is no safe tanning. It’s damaging cells, which is often linked to cancer. As a cancer organization and at the hospital we would definitely support what they are trying to do with the private member’s bill.”

Gillis said the bill takes the option of tanning out of the equation and would help the youth think more about what the sun is doing to their body.

Cases of skin cancer and melanoma have gone up in recently years. Gillis said melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer but it’s easily preventable.

Similar to what has happened with the tobacco industry, banning tanning beds for youth is a step to make using them socially unacceptable, she said.

Gillis added that the hospital is holding a clinic and awareness drive on Saturday, May 5 at 10 a.m.

Terry Gallant, owner of Ozone Tanning Parlour and Beach Wear, said he’s not too worried about the bill impacting his business too much because youth under 18 only make up about two per cent of his clients.

Gallant said his parlour has always stressed proper skin care and how long a person should be tanning for so they don’t damage their skin. Anyone who comes into the salon to get a tan gets this information handed.

He said the debate about tanning beds has been going on for some time.

“It’s not really a concern,” Gallant said. “This is a topic of discussion for a lot of different parlours and a lot of different salons all across the country right now. The negative press probably affects us a lot worse than the two per cent business. We understand that if there are laws coming in then there’s not a lot we can do about it. Our only concern is how it is going to be implemented.”

With MPPs focusing on all the negative aspects of tanning in order to push the bill, Gallant said there’s not too many out there telling the other side of the story.

The important thing to do is to make the industry as professional as possible so people are tanning properly, he said.

“If people choose to do something they do it as safely as they possibly can,” he said. “That’s always been our focus at Ozone and that’s what we’ve done for the last 15 years and we try to give our clients the best service possible.”

One local salon owner, who did not want to give her name, thought the idea to ban youth was a good idea. Even before the ban was proposed, she said she never let anyone under the age of 18 use her tanning bed.

“I never agreed with kids going into the tanning bed,” she said. “When I heard that on the news I thought that was good. Tanning beds are great to use if used properly. I don’t believe it is meant for shake and bake. It is meant for when you are going on a vacation and you need a base.”

MPP Bill Mauro (Lib. Thunder Bay – Atikokan) said he’s hasn’t read the legislation yet and wanted to go over it before he formed an opinion. He said he has met with representatives with the Canadian Cancer Society and knows they are supportive of the bill. 



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unknowncronic says:
"tan in a can" profits will go up forsure!
4/28/2012 2:43:30 PM
wayne says:
who under the age of 18 can afford to go on vacation and needs a base tan? oh well, it's only 2% of tanning salon users. what's next? kids under 18 won't be allowed outside when the UV index is high? bubble-wrap kids
4/28/2012 2:49:03 PM
advocate says:
Teenagers have the highest percent of disposable income. Most of them work and have very few expenses.
4/28/2012 3:07:00 PM
vimeo says:
The problem is that kids under 18 are not looking past their 20's let alone 30's and 40's. It's the "I want it now" attitude and "I'm won't happen to me". Cancer hits old people. Trust me, they'll thank them when they're older and wiser.
4/28/2012 4:52:34 PM
The Wolf says:
Yet another special interest group trying to strip away our rights and freedoms.

Am I the only one seeing us lowly shift from a republican/democratic type society into a socialism/dictatorship style of governing?

Here is a good video to watch about ever changing governments systems.

4/28/2012 3:08:43 PM
Q says:
Hey Wolf, I just wanted to add that Canada is a constitutional monarch with a parliament and not a republic like the US. Thanks for the video.
4/28/2012 5:18:46 PM
The Wolf says:
Glad you liked it.

To be more exact - Canada's government style is a Federal parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy. Which basically puts on a more slippery slope towards Oligarchy then our USA counter parts.

The scary thing about it is even if we see it coming (like I am) there is little to nothing we can do about it.
4/28/2012 6:02:39 PM
DazeofThunder says:
"Kelly-Jo Gillis, manager for preventive services at the Thunder Bay Regional Health Sciences Centre, said the evidence shows tanning beds aren’t good for anyone"....what hypocrites we are. that's like telling our kids to ride their bikes on the sidewalks because it's safer while we have to ride on the road because it's safer...
4/28/2012 3:24:17 PM
jb says:
It's nothing at all like that.
4/30/2012 1:50:26 PM
young&concerned says:
Can we as individuals not make decisions for ourselves anymore? Has not the government already high jacked our lives enough already…without fuelling them to take more from us or dictate how we shall live our lives?

First it was the smoking, before anyone could smoke where ever they so wish to do so. Over time that when away. Now in New York City there is a new health bill to ban salt from tables in restaurants. There are currently ongoing discussions of a soda tax, junk food tax and fat tax. How long before all of this is passed and becomes law?

Do we not see a trend here? The government is slowly taking more and more away from us. We don’t need to promote them to take more from us. This is government bullying!

Keeping in mind this same government who is looking at banning tanning for individuals under the age of 18… has no problem sending these kids to fight a war.

If this continues…one day the government will find something you enjoy and take it away from you!
4/28/2012 5:07:30 PM
yer joking says:
4/28/2012 5:29:03 PM
Potso says:
Unfortunately, no we can not make decisions for ourselves anymore and it seems that we need the government to have laws in place to ensure our children remain safe. Case in point - if I read one more letter to the Editor from some parent blasting the city for not having a helmet law in place at the skatepark, I might scream. When I take my kids there, they wear a helmet and when they're 16 and want to hit the tanning beds (although I doubt they will) I as their parent, will prevent that from happening to the best of my abilities. Since many parents of this generation would rather be BFF's with their kids, the government has to put laws in place because it's easier than making parents actually parent.
4/28/2012 11:56:07 PM
Lally says:
young&concerned, you might feel like your rights are being taken away from you, but I'm sick and tired of people dying from unhealthy practices and then trying to sue organizations or the government for "not telling them" that something was dangerous. And I don't think it's fair that people who didn't choose to smoke got cancer from second-hand smoke because of someone else's choice. Besides, nothing's preventing you from sitting out in the sun and frying yourself for free.

And by the way, the government doesn't send kids under the age of 18 to war. You have to be 18 to join in active combat. So don't worry, by the time you can legally tan, you can also legally choose to fight for our country. We aren't forced into military duty here.
4/30/2012 7:11:58 AM
unionbay880 says:
Whoa, is Kony running the Canadian military? Last time I checked you had to be 18 to join. No military personel are "sent" anywhere, they have volunteered to do what they do to keep you and your rights safe. Although I don't think they went to war to protect your right to tan. Please don't bring our military into your vain hissy fit.
4/30/2012 1:00:11 PM
serena says:
Those opposed to this might feel differently if they had a loved one that died of melanoma. There is no cure and no effective treatment once it has spread. I know all too well, I am informed the hard way, I saw what it does to a person. Skin cancer, like melanoma, grows slowly, and the damage is done when we are young. I agree with this bill.
4/28/2012 6:43:13 PM
The Wolf says:
If we were to take that approach to everything that has caused someone to die then the Government as a species should be bringing in laws not to reproduce as everything we do causes death including birth.
4/29/2012 8:56:05 AM
serena says:
the sun caused here death
4/29/2012 6:07:05 PM
serena says:
...furthermore, I challenge you to start tanning regularly out in the sun and in the winter why not use a tanning bed. Bet you won't. Interesting that a health issue has been turned into such an uproar about freedom choice. If you want a tan, use the sun, like we did when we were young.
4/29/2012 6:27:55 PM
The Wolf says:
Well given I don't "tan" in the summer not sure why you would challenge me to "tan" on a bed in the winter. I have never seen the allure to sit in the sun and darken my skin, it naturally does that on its own when the sun is hot enough to do so.

The situation you speak of is a sad one, I don't like hearing about anyone dying and suffering, especially from caner. However the knee jerk reactions to ban, make illegal, restrict activities which people chose to be part of is wrong, once again, education is the proper path to take and let people decide on their own and for the people under their care.

The reason freedom is being brought up is because the law takes freedom away from society, not just this law but every law does. It is true we need a set of basic laws to be free but to many turns us into an institution and we are told what/how/why/when to do or not do activities or better know as living.
4/30/2012 2:20:02 PM
tadzup says:
I agree with most of the above commenters saying this is just another way for them to take away freedom of choice.

Who will enforce this, and how much will it cost to enforce? Will we arrest teens tanning on the beach or in their yards? I believe most of our local tanning salons require a parent's signature before allowing someone under 18 to use the tanning beds, anyway.
4/28/2012 7:07:15 PM
tsb says:
If kids under 18 deserve to have the responsibility of deciding whether or not to tan, then certainly, they also deserve the right to vote!!
4/28/2012 10:10:11 PM
ThunderBayFullOfCrime says:
I think people should be allowed to make their own choices about their bodies. There are bigger issues to worry about besides tanning.

The food the teens eat filled with preservatives is probably more unhealthy in the long run than the tanning beds. Those preservatives cause cancer and other illnesses too.
4/28/2012 10:33:47 PM
thunderbaycouncel says:
4/29/2012 6:23:29 AM
nvjgu says:
Should ban politicians from using our taxes for personal/gain use.
4/29/2012 7:38:28 AM
justsayin says:
Until we have privatized healthcare, I think the government does have a right to pass laws regarding our health. It is tax dollars that pays for the treatment of disease right now. When there are proven studies showing that tanning and UV exposure in young people shows a dramatic increase in risk of developing Melanoma, it only makes sense that a law is passed. Not only to prevent pain, suffering and possibly death of a citizen in Ontario, but also to prevent added spending on the treatment that person might require. Preventative medicine is something we should be focusing on WAY more than we do.
4/29/2012 8:15:39 AM
The Wolf says:
You do realize that all these "proven" studies are biased and results skewed/slanted to prove what their financial backers want the report to say as it is a good way to ensure more funding for more studies, don't you?

Also use common sense when thinking and talking about cancer risk. Nearly everything we do in life has been linked to an increase risk of cancer so how can they narrow it down to one specific event in peoples lives? You see the last time I checked test subjects live normal lives when being tested as it is against the law to breed humans for specific testing of anything. So with there being so many out side influences which have also had "proven" studies to raise the risk of cancer how do we actually know how bad any risk is?

The answer in short is - We do not know for sure.
4/29/2012 11:07:40 AM
advocate says:
You realize that you are pretty much incorrect about what you just said?

Most of these studies are backed by independent sources or government funds, and the yes or no answer in the results are not as important as finding the truth? Coffee shops are not good places to pick up that information.

And you are correct that many things cause cancer. But some things cause far greater risks than others. Tanning beds are one of them. Cigarettes are another.
4/29/2012 1:24:04 PM
The Wolf says:
I am talking in broad terms not specifically about this study and do not know the validity of it or its merits.

My point is the government has to stop making laws on issues like this as it strips away our freedoms. I happen to have thought that tanning beds all along have been a bad idea and choose not to use them, that is freedom. Being told I cant use them under penalty of law is not freedom, its oppression.

What the government needs to do is form an official advisory system where people can observe studies, advisory and warnings. With today's technology a system like this is very possible and not expensive to undertake or access.

We dont need laws to protect us, we need information and education.
4/30/2012 9:08:21 AM
advocate says:
I am not for or against this law. The argument though is pretty clear. A lot of people think tanning beds are safe, and 16 year olds can't vote, smoke or drink. Society recognizes these individuals as not having the understanding to partake in these processes, and thus is throwing another thing at it. So if you are against this law, you probably should be against the voting, smoking, and drinking law. I do not know you, so maybe you are.

As for studies, members of society can go to Lakehead University or look at Google Scholar and see all of the studies in the world. These means are open to us, and we can use them.
4/30/2012 11:26:47 AM
The Wolf says:
I agree tanning beds create a risk, my point is we do not need a law put in place about this. There are thousands of things in life that are dangerous or risky in some form or another, life is a risk and you should chose yourself how risky you want to be not having a government telling you yes/yes/no/no/no/yes/no to legal activities you want to do.

As a free society we do require a base set of basic laws that will allow us to remain in a freedom state, more laws less freedom. As for the drinking/smoking/voting laws, well I agree with a min age for alcohol, disagree with the current state of how the smoking situation is legally written up in relation to youth.

The voting thing, well truth be told there are several underage voters that are actually more up to speed and aware of whats going on politically then some adults and I would rather see them vote then those adults.
4/30/2012 2:11:40 PM
kpo says:
I support this bill. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Teenagers live for the moment, not considering the potential fall out. I'm not saying this as an insult. That's the level of maturity one would expect in their development. I would also like to see a law in place that prevents kids from buying energy drinks. I can't imagine what all that caffeine and crap is doing to developing organs like the heart and brain.
4/29/2012 9:57:55 AM
nucksfan89 says:
I don't think there's necessarily anything wrong with this bill... what's the difference between that, and having to be 19 to purchase alcohol and cigarettes, 18 to vote and buy lottery tickets? It is proven to be detrimental to your health, so why not regulate it? If it's taking your "freedoms" away, why not let 17 year olds buy booze too?
4/29/2012 12:32:47 PM
The Wolf says:
Government which equals law is suppose to protect us to allow us to have freedom not over whelm us with mass restrictions and countless laws. more laws and more restrictions is the exact opposite of freedom.

Its also about the process and the alarming rate of rules/laws we are bringing in on whims and do to pressure from special interest groups. Facts and figures are often skewed and the general public mislead to have changes brought about to serve the conscious of a few.

We do not need the government to restrict and makes laws on things that are not recommended to us to do. Put out the education and true facts of the situation and let us decide if we want to or do not want to. THAT IS FREEDOM.
4/29/2012 2:38:45 PM
Lally says:
Ah, but who decides what the "Facts" are? Will a tanning salon actually put out information that some people exposed to the types of UV rays their bed emit have been known to cause cancer? Or will they simply continue with their own version of the "truth" that we all need a base tan to go on vacation, or that we look healthier when we cook our skin?

Your version of freedom also seems to indicate we should legalize all drugs. "Here kids! Here's a nifty pamphlet on the effects of heroin. Sure, you can get addicted and destroy your life trying to feed your addiction, but hey, it makes you feel great when you're high! You choose!"

The reason there are so many restrictions for people under the age of 18 is because their bodies and minds are still developing, and they are not always able to make intelligent decisions about far-reaching consequences. I guess you wouldn't bother child-proofing your home if you had kids since that restricts their freedom, right?
4/30/2012 7:54:35 AM
crankypants says:
tanning is not healthy and kids really dont care because they want to look "good." whats wrong with being pale anyways?
4/29/2012 2:19:52 PM
wayne says:
time to 'tan' the hides of idiotic politicians
4/29/2012 5:21:05 PM
wayne says:
will the govt. regulate/ban outdoor tanning? keep your teens locked up inside, let them get no exercise except for Sony wii or xbox kinect. Let them eat pizza pops and other unhealthy foods.
4/29/2012 5:28:39 PM
whitecrow says:
Not tanning is not healthy unless you supplement your diet with Vitamin D somehow .. Your skin naturally turns brown because of the sun . It is not an unatural occurence . Do the research . We as kids suntanned in the summer and took cod liver oils all winter to prevent disease . People living at our latitude and higher cannot get enough Vit D naturally and after we suntan , in moderation we can supplement with pills or with sun tanning beds . In Europe it is not uncommon to have a controlled sun tanning room in Seniors nursing homes . No Vit D and you will suffer from chronic diseases . By the way some sunscreens have toxic ingredients . Sun tannning wrinkling your skin . So does aging . Now what ?
4/29/2012 6:15:11 PM
advocate says:
I guess you never met anyone who has had skin cancer.

Sun is good, over use of sun is not. It is not that hard to comprehend.
4/30/2012 9:40:45 AM
mj86 says:
I would have to say that I agree with the bill that would prevent youth from using tanning beds. I used tanning beds when I was a teenager and I regret doing it now. When you are young you don't always think of the consequences of your actions, and it is up to adults to help you make good decisions. Tanning (especially excessively) can affect your health and appearance in the later (or not so later) years. There are so many good quality self tanners available that there is no need to fake n' bake anymore!
4/30/2012 10:40:10 AM
nfa16 says:
@advocate, the wolf: Acutally I'm an RN, so I guess what they are teaching at the university regarding melanoma must be "coffee shop talk." I can see your point regarding hearsay things like "you'll get cancer if you drink from a garden hose", but it is known that direct, prolonged, repeated exposure to UV rays is a proven cause of melanoma - just like cigarette smoke is a direct cause of some lung cancers. This isn't a study someone just made up to make money. That is the most heartless thing I've ever heard of. I don't see anything wrong about having an age limit (18) on something like artificial tanning. After that point you are considered and adult and are free to make all the detrimental choices you want.
4/30/2012 11:39:59 AM
The Wolf says:
I have not said or will say tanning beds are a good choice. I don't like them so I choose not to use them and I choose not to allow my kids to use them.

My beef is that the government is being lobbied yet again to put a law into place making an activity illegal when a law in this situation is not need or required. Education of the negative affects are needed and we as adults should always have the right to choose in situations like this if we want to allow or not allow.

I also understand that this is all about protection but when you protect through law as we are over doing right now we are limiting and striping freedom of choice away from society.

You make reference to waiting to be an adult to make the "proper" choice because they are now of sound mind to make that choice in situations like these. Yet you make a law prohibiting the same adult to make the choice for their child to use a tanning bed? Do you see the flaw in your statement?
4/30/2012 2:02:06 PM
advocate says:
I don't think you understood my post. I agree that tanning causes cancer. Coffee shop talk is the denial of the link.
4/30/2012 3:01:54 PM
wayne says:
advocate said: "Teenagers have the highest percent of disposable income. Most of them work and have very few expenses."

then those under 18 who attend university shouldn't whine about tuition hikes if they can afford tanning beds to simply 'look good'
4/30/2012 2:55:12 PM
whitecrow says:
advocate says:

I guess you never met anyone who has had skin cancer.

Hi advocate . I am living with a fine healthy lady who had skin cancer over 20 years ago . I also have a friend in the regional on his last legs from melanoma .I think my position needs a bit more clarification . Exposure to sun is a natural way to get vitamin D . Not all skin textures and colours ( fair redheads ) can accept any exposure to levels of summer sunshine . The health care people are seeing cases of melanoma and treating them as best they can . I am looking at it as cause and effect . I agree that too much exposure to natural sunshine or tanning beds increases the risks and has negative effect on a minor part of the population , because the majority will naturally select " everything in moderation " .
What the health care naysayers are not including in their side is the absolute need to provide vitamin D somehow . A campaign of education here would certainly go a long way to get both sides out
4/30/2012 5:57:34 PM
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