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Finally, legislation that protects minors from artificial tanning - The Canadian Cancer Society salutes Minister Bolduc for his leadership

Tuesday, May 15, 2012 3:36 PM

MONTREAL, May 15, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - The Canadian Cancer Society (CCS) - Quebec Division would like to congratulate Quebec's Health Minister, Dr. Yves Bolduc, for his leadership and the Quebec government for its decision to ban the sale of tanning services to youths aged under 18 years. Following Nova Scotia and British Columbia, Quebec is the third province to introduce this type of legislation.

"There is no doubt that artificial tanning is a health hazard at any age, but it is especially important to protect young people from a potential deadly disease. The measures announced this morning will contribute to reducing the increasing number of skin cancer cases," states Suzanne Dubois, Executive Director of the Canadian Cancer Society - Quebec Division. Skin cancer is the most common cancer in Quebec (ranging from 22,000 to 35,000 cases per year according to sources).

In February, the CCS and its partners, dermatologists and the Institut national de santé publique (INSPQ), testified before the Committee on Health and Social Services (CSSS). On that occasion, the CCS submitted signatures from 60,000 people in Quebec collected in 2011 and letters of support from 65 groups representing more than 600 organizations. The CSSS has since recognized the need for a legislation to ban the sale of tanning services to youths and underscored the lack of regulatory requirements in the industry.

The CCS is also pleased that the bill calls for the obligation to declare any sale of tannings services to the enterprise registrar, the hiring of dedicated inspectors and the general ban of all kinds of direct advertising or not dedicated to minors. There are over 1,000 active tanning salons in Quebec, and many are found in unusual places: travel agencies, video clubs, convenience stores, and laundromats. "Not to legislate was not a viable option any more and was becoming increasingly harmful for public health. We now ask that the law be quickly adopted before the summer recess," adds Ms Dubois.

Spring marks the return in force of misleading advertising and promotional campaigns for artificial tanning salons in Publisac distribution bags, high-school newspapers, and graduation albums. Discount coupons and low-price tanning specials are also traditional spring offers. Consequently, the CCS believes that the timing of the bill on artificial tanning is perfect.

However, the CCS would have liked the bill to require tanning salons to obtain a paid permit: "Some services naturally require permits. Just think of the permit needed to sell alcohol here or the permit needed to sell tobacco in other provinces," states Mélanie Champagne, Coordinator, Public Issues, CCS - Quebec Division.


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