October 16, 2008

Tanning Bed Group Opposes Teenager Ban

Ontario, Canada's bid to ban indoor tanning facilities for teenagers is being criticized as counterproductive by a professional organization.

The Joint Canadian Tanning Association, based in Kelowna, British Columbia, issued a release Thursday saying Bill 83, now in the provincial legislature would drive teenagers to burn themselves in outdoor sun if they are denied access to the tanning machines.

"We are opposed to this bill because, while we support constructive and cooperative measures to increase UV awareness and sunburn prevention, passage of Bill 83 would hurt more people than it helps and will lead to an increase in sunburn and skin injury in Ontario," JCTA Executive Director Steve Gilroy said in the release.

The association said there is no data that confirms tanning is more dangerous for any specific age group. It said its members also screen each customer to determine skin type, and recommend tanning times and level of sun screen protection.

"The zeal behind this proposal is not supported by a rational, objective look at the data," Gilroy said. "We believe that proper education, not blanket regulation, is the most effective way to enact good public health policy."