New Brunswick’s doctors recognise new Bill banning underage tanning

The President of the New Brunswick Medical Society recognised the Chief Medical Officer of Health and Minister of Health on the first reading of a new Bill banning underage tanning.

“Doctors know that an ounce of prevention is actually worth far more than a pound of cure and we recognise the government’s efforts on this issue,” Dr Robert Desjardins said. “We are keen to see this bill become the law of the land and ensure our young people, especially young girls, are not placing themselves at increased risk for skin cancers.”

“Dermatologists around the province support any efforts to reduce risk factors from ultraviolet rays,” said Dr Rob Hayes, Chair of the NBMS Section of Dermatology. “We hope that these new legislative measures are passed quickly, so we will see fewer potentially preventable cases of melanoma and skin cancers in our province in the years to come.”

The New Brunswick Medical Society has been a strong advocate for banning artificial ultraviolet tanning for New Brunswick’s youth. Most recently, it has advocated in partnership with the Canadian Cancer Society – New Brunswick, and has seen bipartisan support for action on the issue.

New Brunswick’s dermatologists have long voiced concerns about the health risks associated with ultraviolet tanning of any form, and have called for a ban on underage tanning – much like most other Canadian provinces.  Artificial tanning is particularly harmful to people under 30 and has been shown to markedly increase the risks of melanoma.

“We are particularly pleased about the focus of this Bill on restricting marketing,” said Dr Desjardins. “Young women have always been targeted by the industry as prime clients. Now tanning salons will no longer be able to falsely claim that tanning is actually beneficial to health, and must post government signage that shows the truth – tanning has just the opposite effect.”

The new Bill also provides for compliance checks, penalties for contraventions, and specific kinds of identification that clients would have to provide. “All of these tools are important for ensuring that this ban is effective,” said Dr Desjardins. “Doctors will push for this Bill to become law, and continue to advocate for more education and legislation on other health promotion opportunities in New Brunswick.”

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Founded in 1867, the New Brunswick Medical Society (NBMS) is the professional association representing all physicians in New Brunswick. It is a provincial division of the Canadian Medical Association. Its twin goals are to represent and serve physicians, and advocate for the health of New Brunswickers. Over a hundred New Brunswick doctors sit on our Board and Committees, representing the 1600 doctors in the province.

Media contact: Andrew MacLean, New Brunswick Medical Society:
Contact for spokesperson availability.