Canadian Cancer Society releases election policy recommendations and issues Call to Action
New poll reveals protecting youth from the dangers of indoor tanning IS an election issue in Ontario
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TORONTO, June 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ – The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on
the government of Ontario and all political parties, if elected, to
commit to restrict indoor tanning by youth under the age of 18. The
recommendation is included in the Canadian Cancer Society’s election
policy recommendations released today.
Every three minutes, another Canadian is faced with fighting cancer.
Empowered by its volunteers, staff and donors – the Canadian Cancer
Society is working tirelessly to do everything it can to prevent
cancer, save lives and support people living with cancer. Now the
Society is asking for the help of all Ontario voters, to question their provincial candidates on where they stand on fighting
cancer on the following key policy areas leading up to the October 6th
-- Indoor Tanning -- Environmental and Occupational Carcinogens -- Access to Drugs
It is not about politics, but more about the health of Ontarians.
Political parties have come together in the past for health legislation
and the time for all-party support for legislation is here again. For
example, a growing trend of indoor tanning regulation is taking hold across
Canada from coast to coast, only just catching up to many European and American standards. Both
Victoria, BC and the province of Nova Scotia have enacted legislation.
Communities like Sarnia, Ontario are taking notice and recently asked
their city council to take action.
On April 13, 2010 a bi-partisan provincial bill to protect youth from
skin cancer by restricting the marketing and sale of indoor tanning
services to people under the age of 19 was introduced. After its
introduction, Bill 31, as it was labeled, did not make it to second
reading and has since died on the legislative agenda. ”Political
parties need to act on this important health issue now to protect young
Ontarians,” says Joanne Di Nardo, Senior Manager, Public Issues. “We
are calling on all political parties to include a commitment to
restricting tanning by youth under the age of 18 and advertising by
indoor tanning companies directed at youth.”
An Ipsos Reid poll conducted earlier this month and commissioned by the
Society showed that:
-- 83% of Ontarians support a ban on indoor tanning by youth under 18 years -- 77% said youth should be prevented from using tanning beds -- 73% of Ontarians polled said the tanning industry cannot be trusted to regulate itself and government legislation is needed -- 80% of Ontarians support legislation to regulate the tanning industry
“Every day young people across the province intentionally expose
themselves to a known human carcinogen thanks to an industry that
targets its services to youth,” says Joanne Di Nardo. “It’s crucial for
the next government of Ontario to take action to protect the health of
our youth — and we know that a majority of Ontarians agree.”
“There is no safe way to tan,” says Dr. Cheryl Rosen, Head of
Dermatology, Toronto Western Hospital. “People should avoid indoor
tanning and in particular for young people, it should be banned
“It is not acceptable that the tanning industry markets its services to youth, knowing that there is a proven connection between tanning and skin
cancer,” says Jeffrey Gottheil, President and Creative Director, J.
Gottheil Marketing Communications Inc. and consultant to the Society.
“Advertising tans for proms, for example, takes a direct aim at the
population under 18 and this is something that needs to be regulated
Indoor tanning equipment can emit ultraviolet radiation at levels that
are five times stronger than the mid-day summer sun. In 2009, the
International Agency for Research on Cancer classified tanning
equipment as a known carcinogen putting it in the highest cancer risk
Why do young people go to tanning salons and are they aware of the
dangers of developing skin cancer?
Sixteen-year-old high school student Rae Ann Teixeira says she used to
tan but her perspective has changed.
“All my friends were doing it and I thought it’d be nice to have tan for
my semi-formal,” she says. “But it’s scary enough to get skin cancer,
you don’t want to increase your risk.”
The risk is real, especially for young people. The International Agency
for Research on Cancer has determined that using a tanning bed before the age of 35 can increase a person’s risk of
developing skin cancer by as much as 75%. Melanoma skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for
youth between 15 and 29 years old and is mostly preventable.
For more information about the Canadian Cancer Society’s election policy
recommendations, go to www.cancer.ca and visit the Ontario section for more information.
The Ipsos Reid poll was conducted between June 6 and 9th with an online sample size of 822
Ontarians aged 18+. The estimated margin of error is +/- 3.5 percentage
points, 19 times out of 20.
The Canadian Cancer Society is a national community-based organization
of volunteers whose mission is the eradication of cancer and the
enhancement of the quality of life of people living with cancer. When
you want to know more about cancer, visit our website www.cancer.ca or call our toll-free, bilingual Cancer Information Service at 1 888 939-3333.
SOURCE Canadian Cancer Society (Ontario Division)