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.

Just Posted

The City of Victoria is proposing a northern contraction from Haultain Street to Bay Street with a western contraction from Cook Street to Chambers Street for Fernwood. (Illustration/Google Maps)
Community association calls for input on Victoria boundary changes

City of Victoria proposes changes to neighbourhood borders

After seizing a handgun from his home on Tuesday, Victoria police arrested a wanted man on Wednesday after he fled officers on his bike. (Black Press Media file photo)
Man wanted on several warrants flees Victoria officers on bike

He was arrested after a brief struggle, transported to hospital with injuries

Divyesh Nagarajan, third from the left, has founded the Be My Friend project to bring support and companionship to vulnerable youth and address North Saanich’s food security challenges. (Courtesy of Divyesh Nagarajan)
Greater Victoria teen looks to connect vulnerable youth with a buddy, bolster food security

Be My Friend project was founded by St. Michaels University School student Divyesh Nagarajan

These are just a handful of Vancouver Island’s missing person cases. Clockwise from top left: Lisa Marie Young, Lindsey Nicholls, Micheal Dunahee, Jesokah Adkens, Belinda Cameron and Emma Fillipoff. (File photos courtesy of family members and police departments)
Gorge skull fragment could bring closure to one Greater Victoria missing person case

Skeletal remains found in Greater Victoria have not yet been identified

(Black Press Media file photo)
UPDATE: Sooke Road reopens after gas leak at Colwood Corners

SD62 warns afternoon buses could be delayed

B.C. Labour Minister Harry Bains in the B.C. legislature, May 13, 2019. (Hansard TV)
VIDEO: B.C. to provide 3 days of sick pay for COVID-19 absences

Province will support employers on cost, labour minister says

A nurse asks screening questions at an immunization appointment in Nanaimo earlier this year. (Shawn Wagar/Island Health photo)
Island Health appreciates nurses answering the call in challenging times

Health authority draws attention to National Nursing Week

BC Housing minister David Eby. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito)
Eby jabs back against Penticton mayor’s ad urging BC Premier to intervene in shelter dispute

Eby writes that Penticton’s ‘serious’ social issues won’t improve under leadership of the mayor

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry updates B.C.’s COVID-19 situation at the B.C. legislature, April 29, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 rate creeps up again, 600 new cases Wednesday

One more death, 423 people in hospital with virus

B.C. Agriculture Minister Lana Popham takes questions in the B.C. legislature in 2017. (Hansard TV)
UPDATE: B.C. will fund another year of fresh fruit, vegetables, milk in schools

John Horgan government working on school meal program

Vancouver mayor-elect Kennedy Stewart addresses supporters in Vancouver on Sunday, Oct. 21, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver mayor says there’s no time to redo details of drug decriminalization plan

Kennedy Stewart says a federal election could see the small window of opportunity close on the city’s bid for an exemption from criminal provisions on simple possession of small amounts of drugs

Premier Mike Horgan received his first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine. (Facebook/John Horgan)
More than 50% of people eligible in B.C. have received 1st vaccine dose

‘We’ve made extraordinary progress together over the past few weeks,’ says Premier Horgan

The Independent Investigations Office of B.C. is investigating the shooting of a Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation woman in the Ucluelet First Nation community of Hitacu on May 8. (Black Press Media file photo)
Indigenous woman shot by police was holding a replica gun, says Ucluelet First Nation

Woman has been identified as a member of the Tla-o-qui-aht First Nation

Most Read