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Ontario to ban tanning beds for those under 18: McGuinty

Ontario will ban tanning beds for those under 18 because of the high risk of cancer, Premier Dalton McGuinty said Friday.

He said the government would support an NDP bill to keep kids out of tanning salons.

“The Canadian Cancer Society tells us that young people who use tanning beds are 75 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma than non-users,” McGuinty said at a news conference Friday.

“The World Health Organization has classified tanning beds in its highest cancer risk category, the same category as asbestos and tobacco.”

The private member’s bill was introduced by Nickel Belt MPP Frances Gelinas in April.

Last month, Oakville council passed a motion banning tanning beds for those under 18, becoming the first municipality in Ontario to do so.

Similar legislation already exists in several provinces, including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec. Several countries, including France, the United Kingdom and Australia also have restrictions for youths.

Last year, an estimated 5,500 Canadians were diagnosed with melanoma and about 950 were expected to die from the disease. More than 74,000 were told they had other types of skin cancer.

With files from The Canadian Press