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Ontario passes legislation banning tanning beds for minors

The Ontario government has passed legislation that will make tanning beds off limit to those under 18.

The Skin Cancer Prevention Act was approved at Queen’s Park on Wednesday.

“By passing this bill, we are saving lives,” Health Minister Deb Matthews said in a statement.

“Restricting access to tanning beds is one of the most important things we can do to help reduce the risk of skin cancer for our young people. I want to thank everyone who worked so hard to pass this lifesaving bill.”

The legislation bans the sale of tanning services to people under the age of 18 and requires operators to request ID from anyone who appears to be under 25, among other requirements. It also fines for operators who fail to comply.

The move was praised by the Canadian Cancer Society, who said the ban would raise awareness about indoor tanning.

“As we continue to work together towards reducing the number of lives adversely affected by cancer, this piece of legislation will not only help prevent skin cancer but raise awareness about the dangers of indoor tanning,” said Martin Kabat, CEO of the society’s Ontario division.

Legislation banning tanning beds for minors went into effect in Prince Edward Island last month. Quebec, British Columbia, Nova Scotia and Newfoundland have similar laws, while in Manitoba, teens need parental consent to use tanning beds.