B.C. Health minister Michael de Jong bans teens from tanning

Provincewide ban began with Oak Bay students

University of Victoria students and former Oak Bay High graduates Stephanie Wong

University of Victoria students and former Oak Bay High graduates Stephanie Wong

Oak Bay High students have stood out for passionately opposing tanning beds, but it won’t be long before they’re in the same boat as teens across B.C.

The Ministry of Health announced a provincewide ban on tanning bed use by people under the age of 18 – a change directly linked to the tan-free movement that began in Oak Bay.

Stephanie Wong and Adele Green, co-founders of the school’s Youth Against Cancer club, were “ecstatic” to hear Health Minister Michael de Jong’s announcement Tuesday morning.

“When the minister said they were actually going to restrict the use (of commercial tanning beds) for youth under the age of 18, we were shocked that the minister had made a decision so early, but not that he actually made the restriction,” said Wong, now a second-year student at the University of Victoria, leading a Youth Against Cancer club on campus with Green. “It just goes to show the direct link between skin cancer and tanning beds.”

Wong and Green were among the first to bring the issue of banning commercial tanning bed use in the Capital Regional District before the CRD board of directors in 2010. The board followed recommendations from Vancouver Island Health Authority chief medical health officer Richard Stanwick and supported a bylaw to ban tanning bed use by young people in January 2011.

Skin cancer remains the most common type of cancer in Canada. The B.C. Cancer Agency estimates that 966 British Columbians will be diagnosed with cancer in 2012 and 150 will die of it. In 2004, the total direct and indirect economic cost of skin cancer in Canada was estimated at $532 million.

“This is going to spark a generational change, which is ultimately what Adele and I have been working toward,” Wong said. “This shows you don’t have to change the way your skin looks in order to live up to the portrait of beauty. … People and youth should feel comfortable in the skin that they’re living in and shouldn’t have to feel pressured to go and use these beds that would cause them to get skin cancer.”

Wong’s younger sister Jessica, a current student at Oak Bay High, has continued with her sister’s work by recently promoting a Canadian Cancer Society tan-free grad challenge at the school.

Tuesday’s announcement follows the release of a report by an indoor tanning working group that was established as a direct result of the CRD ban.

The proposed regulation under the Public Health Act does not apply to people under the age of 18 who have a medical prescription. It is anticipated to take effect this fall.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

This male Dungeness can safely be harvested after passing muster. An official with Fisheries and Oceans Canada says it is not clear how well locals on the Saanich Peninsula are complying with crabbing regulations, but her comments suggest that any problems might be of a minor nature. (Department of Fisheries and Oceans/Submitted)
Sidney and Sooke record 57 crabbing violations in 2020

While recreational crab fishery has ‘compliance issues,’ no evidence of ‘large scale poaching’

Police seek information after a pedestrian was hit in a crosswalk at the intersection of Goldstream Avenue and Veterans Memorial Parkway on March 3.(Google Maps)
Witnesses sought in Langford pedestrian hit and run

Suspect is older man driving four-door, gold sedan

The University of Victoria has said some of its students were impacted by an off-campus exposure to COVID-19 last weekend. (Black Press Media file photo)
University of Victoria students impacted by off-campus COVID-19 exposure

UVic has not specified where the exposure occurred

Const. Mat Jones of the CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit joined a team of Saanich police officers and ICBC representatives cracking down on distracted driving at the McKenzie/Quadra intersection in Saanich on March 3. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)
‘Leave the phone alone’: 40 distracted driving tickets issued in two hours at Saanich intersection

Saanich police, CRD Integrated Road Safety Unit crackdown on drivers’ cell-phone use

Victoria police are investigating after a person broke into and stole a vehicle from a Douglas Street car dealership on the morning of March 3. (Courtesy of Victoria Police Department)
Suspect sought after vehicle swiped from Victoria dealership

Suspect broke into Douglas Street dealership shortly before 5 a.m.

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

Anyone with information on any of these individuals is asked to call 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or visit the website victoriacrimestoppers.ca for more information.
Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of March 2

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

(Black Press Media file photo)
POLL: How’s your butter?

Recent reports have some Canadians giving a second look to one of… Continue reading

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

The City of Duncan will implement a new pilot project targeting vandalism this spring. (File photo)
Graffiti trouble? Duncan will give you the brush and the paint to remove it

Initiative based on a successful project to protect Port Alberni from unwanted spray paint

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

The first of Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s long-range maritime patrol aircraft—the Dash-8—becomes operational. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s new De Havilland Dash-8-100 long-range surveillance air craft is capable of staying aloft for eight to 10 hours for a variety of missions up and down the B.C. coast. (Photo supplied by PAL Aerospace)
New plane will double DFO’s surveillance capacity in B.C.

The Dash-8 will fly out of Campbell River for enforcement, conservation missions

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

Most Read