October 11, 2017 6:15 pm
Updated: October 11, 2017 7:42 pm

Ban on minors using indoor tanning beds in Alberta to take effect Jan. 1

File: Tanning bed

Jonathan Hayward, The Canadian Press

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2018 youth under the age of 18 will no longer be allowed to use artificial tanning services in Alberta.

The Skin Cancer Prevention (Artificial Tanning) Act was passed by the legislature in March 2015, when the Progressive Conservatives were in power. When the Alberta NDP took power a month later, it was up to the new government to put the legislation into force.

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“We did do some additional consultation to ensure organizations representing the businesses that would be impacted would not be surprised,” Health Minister Sarah Hoffman said. “We completed the consultation and completed the regulations and are happy to have this proclaimed.

“The piece that does go a bit further… is the poster and the warning messages that weren’t part of the original legislation,” Hoffman added.

READ MORE: Here’s the No. 1 reason why 1.35M Canadians are still using tanning beds

Beginning Jan. 1, 2018, businesses providing artificial tanning services:

  • Cannot provide ultraviolet (UV) artificial tanning services to minors
  • Cannot advertise UV artificial tanning services to minors
  • Are required to post health warnings and age restrictions
  • Cannot have unsupervised self-service artificial tanning equipment in public places

“Research has shown that using artificial tanning when you are under 35 dramatically increases your risk for melanoma,” Hoffman said in a statement on Wednesday.

“The changes we’re making will help protect our youth from a disease that affects hundreds of Albertans every year and gives Albertans better information about the risks of artificial tanning.”

Alberta is the only province that still allows people under the age of 18 to use indoor tanning equipment.

“It definitely seemed like it was about time,” Hoffman said. “We’re catching up where we were behind.”

READ MORE: Alberta urged to enact ban on young people using indoor tanning beds

Melanoma is one of the fastest-growing preventable cancers, according to the Canadian Cancer Society. Research indicates that using indoor tanning equipment during youth increases the risk of melanoma by nearly 60 per cent.

The society estimates that one-third of 17-year-old girls have used tanning beds.

“Preventing teen use of artificial tanning equipment will reduce skin cancer, which, despite being highly preventable, is one of the fastest-rising cancers,” said Dan Holinda, with the Canadian Cancer Society.

Corporations caught in violation of the act could be fined up to $2,000 for the first offence and up to $10,000 for the third offence.

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