North York Mirror
The Ontario government will ban children and youth under the age of 18 from using tanning beds, Premier Dalton McGuinty said while touring the Odette Cancer Centre at Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre Friday, Sept. 14.
The Canadian Cancer Society has warned that young people who use tanning beds are 75 per cent more likely to be diagnosed with melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer, McGuinty said.
The World Health Organization has also warned of the dangers of sun beds, comparing the risk to asbestos and tobacco, McGuinty said.
“We need to act on evidence to protect our youngest,” he said.
The government will support a private member’s bill introduced by NDP MPP France Gelinas that would only allow adults to use tanning beds. McGuinty said there will be some amendments to the bill as it progresses through the legislative process, but could not say what changes he would like to see.
He made the announcement before several Sunnybrook health care workers after touring the Odette facility.
“Today, I saw an impressive facility,” said McGuinty, adding the most impressive part was seeing the professionalism health care workers use to help cancer patients and their families through the most difficult time of their lives.
“Your work does make a difference to all of us.”
McGuinty sang the praises of his government’s record on improving cancer care in the province, including reducing wait times for surgery, hiring more nurses, increasing screening and strengthening anti-smoking campaigns.
Sunnybrook president Dr. Barry McLellan said staff at Odette is developing new therapies to minimize the side effects cancer patients face, reduce their time in hospital and tailor treatments for individual patients.
“We don’t treat cancer, we treat people who have a cancer diagnosis,” he said.