Young teenagers looking for the sun-kissed look year-round will have few options after the Saskatchewan government announced an upcoming ban on minors using tanning beds.
Starting Nov. 1, the province is introducing laws making it illegal for anyone under the age of 18 to use an indoor tanning bed at a tanning facility, spa or gym. The government made the announcement earlier this year.
In Saskatoon, one tanning salon owner has been proactive, enforcing her own ban on under-age tanning for a few years already.
“I do not allow people 18 years and under to tan in our salon if they don’t come with their parents, and even if they call and say they have permission, I say ‘no I want to have them here,’” said Maritza Moraga, manager of Sunsera Salon. “I’m a parent myself and if my 16-year-old decided to tan and I don’t know about it … I’d be upset.”
The move from the province follows similar bans introduced in Alberta and Manitoba. The Canadian Cancer Agency said they’re pleased Saskatchewan has caught up on regulating tanning bed activity.
“This is very welcomed in Saskatchewan because it will protect our youth from UV damage and skin cancer,” said Donna Ziegler with the cancer agency. “We might be last but we’re very pleased to start protecting our youth starting November 1st.”
Moraga said since she’s enforced the ban in her salon, she hasn’t had many problems turning customers away, and even if it was affecting her business, she would still enforce the ban on teens who didn’t have permission from their parents to tan.
“I’m a mother and I have a kid … safety is a big concern so if you want the public to be safe, it’s not about making money it’s about staying safe,” Moraga said, adding she has no problem telling adult customers that they’re tanning too much.
“It’s not good for their skin and we regulate what they do because we provide the service.”