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Protecting Youth from Cancer as Tanning Bill Passes Final Vote

News Release

Protecting Youth from Cancer as Tanning Bill Passes Final Vote

Ontario Restricts Access to Tanning Beds for Youth Under 18

Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care

Ontario is moving forward to protect young people against skin cancer with today's passage of the Skin Cancer Prevention Act.  

The new legislation restricts youth under 18, who are especially vulnerable to the harmful effects of ultraviolet (UV) radiation, from using tanning beds. The act also prohibits marketing of tanning services targeted at youth, requires tanning bed operators to request identification from anyone who appears under 25, and sets fines for operators who fail to comply.

Protecting young people from harmful UV radiation produced by tanning beds helps deliver on our Action Plan for Health Care. This is part of the Ontario government's economic plan to invest in people, invest in infrastructure and support a dynamic and innovative business climate.

Quick Facts

  • The new rules will be enforced by public health units and the government will consult widely in the coming months on the development of regulations to support the legislation.
  • The act includes self-tanning restrictions that prohibit the use of tanning beds that do not require the presence of an attendant.
  • The World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer reports that the risk of skin cancer — particularly melanoma — increases by 75 per cent when tanning beds are used prior to the age of 35.
  • The incidence of melanoma in Ontario has been rising in youth and young adults (ages 15-34) — especially among females aged 25 to 34.

Additional Resources


Deb Matthews

“By passing this bill, we are saving lives. 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.”

Deb Matthews

Minister of Health and Long-Term Care

“At 21 years old, I was diagnosed with skin cancer. I’m 23 now and living with the reality that I’ve wrecked my health because I used indoor tanning beds as a teen. I’ve always hoped that one day, no young person in Ontario would be able to use indoor tanning beds like I did. Thanks to the efforts of many, this hope is now a reality.”

Kate Neale

melanoma survivor and Canadian Cancer Society volunteer

“The Canadian Cancer Society celebrates today the collaborative efforts undertaken by thousands of Society volunteers, staff, donors and other stakeholders who have made the #tanbedban movement and the passage of this bill successful. 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.”

Martin Kabat

Chief Executive Officer, Canadian Cancer Society Ontario Division

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