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Tanning Community: Ontario Bill Would Hurt Teens, Not Help Them

Friday, January 25, 2013
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KELOWNA, BC – Canada’s indoor tanning community has offered substantive information showing why passage of an Ontario bill seeking to deny teenagers access to professional indoor tanning salons would actually increase sunburn incidence – not reduce it. The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA), the professional association for indoor tanning facilities in Canada, detailed its objections in its Position Paper sent to the Standing Committee on Social Policy about Ontario’s Bill 83. The bill calls for a prohibition on selling or supplying tanning services or ultraviolet light treatment services to persons under theage of 19.

“We are opposed to this bill because while we support constructive and cooperative measures to increase UV awareness and sunburn prevention, passage of Bill 83 would hurt more people than it helps and will lead to an increase in sunburn and skin injury in Ontario,” says JCTA Executive Director SteveGilroy. “We encourage all of the stakeholders in this debate to go to and click on the Media tab to see the reasons why the JCTA opposes any attempt to ban tanning for anyone under 19. The facts don’t support a ban. If Bill 83 were enacted, it’s likely that sunburn incidence in this age group will increase. This would be hurting people, not helping them,” Gilroy added. There is no data that confirms that tanning is more dangerous for any specific age group. Photobiology and epidemiology – if analyzed correctly – all suggest that burning (not tanning) at an early age could increase risk later in life. Indoor tanners sunburn less than non-tanners, including teenagers who tan outdoors. Canada’s indoor tanning facilities are at the forefront in teaching teenagers outdoor sunburn prevention, including the proper use of sunscreens to prevent sunburn outdoors. The JCTA supports the parental consent for anyone under 16 who wish to tan in salons. “The zeal behind this proposal is not supported by a rational, objective look at the data. We believe that proper education, not blanket regulation, is the most effective way to enact good public health policy,” Gilroy said. About the JCTA The Joint Canadian Tanning Association (JCTA) is a national non-profit organization created to increase understanding of the professional tanning industry’s scientifically supported position that regular moderate ultraviolet exposure from sunshine or sunbeds in a non-burning fashion is part of a responsible lifestyle that recognizes both the inherent benefits and the manageable risks associated with ultraviolet light exposure. For further information: Steve Gilroy, JCTA Executive Director, T: (800) 915-0367, C: (250) 863-8765, E: