Canadian Cancer Society calls for ban on tanning beds for those under 18
MONTREAL - The Canadian Cancer Society is calling on the Quebec government to ban the sale of tanning bed services to people under 18 years old as part of a campaign to help prevent skin cancer.
The group says exposure to artificial tanning before age 35 raises the risk of skin cancer by a staggering 75 per cent.
Yet many in Montreal continue to visit tanning beds regularly.
Pamela Garneu, 16, told CTV Montreal's Rob Lurie she knows it's not the healthiest thing to do, but also said it can't be too bad if she only goes once a week.
"I just find a dark tan looks better," she said. Anyone can get cancer by walking outside , she said, it can't be more dangerous than the sun.
That's what Genevieve Phenix used to think when she used to tan three times a week when she was 16.
"I want to look like more beautiful, so yeah that's the reason," she said.
But at age 24, she developed two melanomas. Her doctor blamed too many hours in the tanning bed.
These days, Phenix speaks about the ills of tanning beds as part of a new campaign for the Canadian Cancer Society.
Research indicates they cause much more damage than sunlight, according to the group.
"When you go to a tanning salon, you're exposing yourself to UV rays that are five to 15 times more powerful than the sun," said Andre Beaulieu of the Canadian Cancer Society.