Province must ban youth tanning

Moose Jaw Times Herald - Editorial Staff
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Many of us strive to attain that perfectly tanned body during the spring and summer months.

In recent years, a tanned body has become as much a cultural norm as is the use of social media to display off those tans, especially among teenagers and young adults.

Although lounging under the warm glow of the sun is the most common way we attempt to darken our skin, indoor tanning beds provide people with another option to tan.

That option — for children — will soon be restricted in Saskatchewan, health minister Dustin Duncan said Wednesday in Regina. He did not, however, divulge what changes would be made, or how they would be implemented.

“I think we’ll be looking to make a move in terms of restricting access to tanning beds in the future,” Duncan told reporters.

The discussion about tanning bed usage by young people garnered more attention earlier this week after the Canadian Cancer Society noted that skin cancer is not only on the rise, but is preventable. More than ever, youth are frequenting tanning beds. Why? Simply put, they have access to them, and that is the problem.

There are many parents in this province that pay for youth to catch a few UVA and UVB rays at tanning beds throughout the year, a practice that could become an addiction and thus expose children to a greater likelihood of contracting skin cancer later in life.

The legal drinking and smoking ages in Saskatchewan are 19 and 18 respectively, both of which can result in a variety of health concerns with continued consumption.

So why not also restrict indoor tanning to adults?

Apart from Saskatchewan, Alberta is the only other province that has not placed a ban on youth tanning.

Granted, this is a contentious issue, but the government of Saskatchewan is behind on this issue and needs to draft legislation to ban youth tanning, and they need to do so as soon as possible.

All Times-Herald editorials are written by the editorial staff.

Organizations: Canadian Cancer Society

Geographic location: Saskatchewan, Regina, Alberta

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