News / Edmonton

Alberta youth tanning ban will kick in on Jan 1

People under 18 will no longer be able to use artificial tanning facilities

There will be no tanning for youth after Jan 1, province says.

JONATHAN HAYWARD / CP

There will be no tanning for youth after Jan 1, province says.

People under 18 will be banned from artificial tanning facilities in Alberta starting on Jan 1, 2018.

Citing evidence that tanning is linked to skin cancer, the province introduced legislation back in 2015, and announced Wednesday that the law would come into effect in the new year.

Businesses will also not be able to advertise to minors, will have to post health warnings, and will not be able to have unsupervised self-service tanning equipment in public areas.

“Preventing teen use of artificial tanning equipment will reduce skin cancer, which, despite being highly preventable, is one of the fastest-rising cancers," Dan Holinda of the Canadian Cancer Society said in a release.

"As a survivor of this disease myself, I want to thank the government for proclaiming this act – it will save lives."

According to the province, melanoma is the most common cancer in Alberta and accounts for one third of new cases. It's also on the rise.

There were 665 new cases of melanoma in Alberta and 64 deaths due to the disease in 2014, an increase from 2012, which saw 599 new cases and 72 deaths.

Officials say using UV artificial tanning equipment before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 59 per cent.

Minister of Health Sarah Hoffman said in the release that research shows that tanning when you're under 35 "dramatically" increases melanoma risk.

"The changes we’re making will help protect our youth from a disease that affects hundreds of Albertans every year and gives Albertans better information about the risks of artificial tanning.”

Alberta Health Services’ public health inspectors will be in charge of enforcing the new rules.

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