Operator says new tanning law ‘too much’

Josh Pennell
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The owner of a string of tanning salons across the island says the government is going too far with new legislation banning the use of indoor tanning.

As of Friday, it will be illegal for anyone younger than 19 to use a tanning bed. The new law is drawing mixed reviews. — Thinkstock image

Anyone younger than 19 years old looking to brown up in a tanning bed won’t be legally allowed to catch those rays as of Friday. The legislation passed in the House of Assembly in June 2012.

Vic Lawlor owns Arizona Heat Inc. He says he agrees with regulating the industry, but an all-out ban on people younger than 19 is too much.

 “I think that government should not be telling 18-year-olds, who are adults, that they are not permitted to tan.

“I fully agree with regulating an industry, but I think parents should make the decision for a 16- or 17-year-old whether they can tan. I don’t think government should be making these decisions,” Lawlor, who is out of the province, told The Telegram via email.

Lawlor requires parental consent for people younger than 18 and has done so since he opened 14 years ago.

He feels there are better things for the government to be spending its time and money on,  such as the drug and crime habits of young people.

“They should put their funding towards issues that really matter, not on whether an 18-year-old should be allowed to tan. It’s laughable how out of touch our government is with what’s important,” he says.

But other people see tanning as damaging, and the new law as imperative. Dermatologist Dr. Ian Landells has worked on getting the regulations changed for years.

“I’m really happy they’re finally making it law,” he says.

In a June 2012 interview with The Telegram, Landells said tanning beds emit ultraviolet radiation and should be treated the same as tobacco.

“It’s great news and it’s been a long time coming. I just hope they enforce it properly,” he says.

When contacted about enforcement, RNC media relations officer, Const. Geoffrey G. Higdon, said there is no designation as to who enforces it yet.

“I will say that as a provincial police force, we are able to enforce any and all provincial statutes. According to the online publication of the act it is not in force yet and the minister has yet to designate the particulars around enforcement,” Higdon said in an email.

As for how it will affect business, tanning salons contacted by The Telegram said they don’t get a tremendous number of people under the age of 19 except around grad time.

Lawlor says it won’t affect his enterprise. If young people are well done with one side of his business, it’s as easy as flipping over to another.

“Seventeen and 18 year olds account for about three per cent of my business and we have spray tanning at all our salons so they will just transfer over to that side of my business.”



Organizations: The Telegram, Arizona Heat

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Recent comments

  • Anon
    January 30, 2014 - 20:50

    I disagree completely I think that it's our lives our bodies our choice and no one else's concern . There's more things to worry about then tanning ?! Teenagers are wise enough to make there own choices and should have the freedom to tan whenever they want we pay for it But even with a parents consent is a bit to much if you ask me!! And what makes this more upsetting that teens should have a right to vote and speak there opinions !!!! This involves us to so we should have a word on it with this "new law" to the person who made this pathetic idea !! Rant of the day

  • Maxine
    January 30, 2014 - 19:03

    There was a meeting the government set up and sent invitations out for people to come to have a voice. Here they listened to us asked us questions and came up with the ideas to set all this up. I went and one other place not from town. They had conference calling, for people who could not go to the Holiday Inn. Not one person used it and no one bothered. So trying to have a voice now is maybe too late.

  • J
    January 30, 2014 - 11:29

    The Nanny State is alive and well. When will these do-gooder politicians ban outright cigarettes? Gutless comes to mind.

  • james browne
    January 30, 2014 - 11:01

    Isn't that wonderful for the government of this province to ban tanning for those under the age of not 18 but 19. Now I agree with this even though the politicians have violated the federal legislation that says the age of adulthood is the magic #18, but if they're in a frame of mind to start banning' let's get to the really important things. Where do I start. McDonalds, Burger King, Tim Hortons, advertising of fatty foods, smoking, drinking and so many more it's reached the absolute. Were the people who drew this up drunk or just stupid. Orwell missed the mark by 30 years

  • jojo
    January 30, 2014 - 10:15

    Teens never worry about the future and feel they will not be the one who develops problems .Its always the other guy .yes control should be taken from them and parents too,for parents are pressured by their teen and feel giving in will keep the peace. This way there is no fight It's the Law

  • darby
    January 30, 2014 - 10:01

    Is this so different from telling a person of any age that they must wear a seat belt when driving a car / truck?

    • Ian
      February 01, 2014 - 03:04

      Yes! In a high speed collision your body becomes a projectile if not belted down, you could easly kill some you that is belted down beside you. Plus it may save your life too, and I don't mind saying wearing a seat belt saved my life on two occations. I disagree with the ban on tanning too, simply because its ineffective; you may aswell ban teens from leaving their homes on sunny days or from going on vacation in the winter.

  • Jenna
    January 30, 2014 - 09:59

    Great news! Too bad we couldn't out right ban them. Yes it is your body and your choice, but unfortunatly the tax payers have to pay for your skin cancer treatments.

  • teamplayer
    January 30, 2014 - 09:57

    I don't completely disagree with regulation of the industry, I think it's a bit crazy for people to be calling for it to be "shut down" There are so many un-regulated cancer causing factors in our day to day life. There are fast food joints on every corner feeding people garbage food, the research on obesity and cancer has been clear for years but nobody screams that McD's should be shut down. Intake of processed meats (3.5 oz per day) increases cancer risk by 35%, but nobody is calling for JM Schneiders head on a platter. People are pretty quick to jump on the band wagon without realizing that half the reason the tanning industry is being targeted so aggressively is because they don't have mega bucks behind it like tobacco, alcohol, or food industry, easy target!!

  • RJ
    January 30, 2014 - 09:50

    I support this action fully. Many teens are not completely aware of the full implications that these booths may have on their health. Many are not mature or educated enough to make a proper decision based on need and risk when it comes to these tanning booths. Not only teens but many adults also do not fully comprehend the dangers. Unfortunately, many take on the attitude who cares if I get cancer when I'm older without truly knowing what having cancer means for an individual and their families. Also, the extreme vanity of some people also cloud their judgement. I wouldn't go as far as saying tanning booths should be illegal or closed completely as they can serve a medical use to treat some skin conditions. I however, think it is a good idea to pass this law. Perhaps tanning salons should also provide information on the risks and force people to read and sign stating they understand the risk before they can get in the booth and crisp themselves to a nice Umpa Lumpa orange colour.

  • Devil's Advocate
    January 30, 2014 - 09:10

    Not that I disagree with banning tanning beds for minors, but I have to wonder when is the ban on selling fatty fast food and high carb junk food to those under 19 coming? In a province with the country's highest rate of diabetes and obesity related illness, you'd think that would have been given higher priority. What's sauce for the goose..

  • MovingAlongWithTheTimes
    January 30, 2014 - 09:02

    I''m amazed these tanning salons are still open. Risking your health to age yourself and lets face it there's nothing attractive about a fake tan...I thought this fad went out in the 90's ...why is it news in 2014?? Come on people...this should be common sense...

  • carogers
    January 30, 2014 - 08:05

    Is that so....is the owner of these tanning salons willing to supplement the healthcare expenses for their clients when cancer is diagnosed? Of course not. Not a word on self regulation coming from you in light of the proof that your tanning salon causes skin cancer. You actually expect in 2014 to be able to sell a cancer causing service with no regulations??? Cigarettes have regulations. Consumption of alcohol is regulated, but YOUR service should be open to anyone of any age without any restrictions on your profits. Your lack of education is showing. Not to mention your lack of concern for our over burned healthcare system you will cost the system dearly because it is fashionable to have a tan in your prom dress. The future quality of life of young clients as they potentially develop skin cancer cannot be factor into your profit margin it is immoral for you to cry fowl over regulating your industry. You should have regulated yourself and been a leader not wine about your lost profits your obtained literally on the backs of 16 year olds. Grow up and make adult decisions for the love of what is decent. The health of our youth.

  • Robb
    January 30, 2014 - 08:00

    Hey Tom, you hit it right on the head. What control do parents have over teens these days, especially the girls. They are certainly the more rebellious ones in their teens, and just think they are all entitled. Since the parents can't stop these kids from exposing themselves to high risk cancer, the gov't has to do it. Kudos to the gov't and never mind these tanning companies who would expose anyone to the rays.

  • Nancy Gilbetr
    January 30, 2014 - 07:44

    Tanning beds cause skin cancer. Tanning salons should be shut down.

  • Tom
    January 30, 2014 - 07:08

    Of course he does. His main clientele are 18 year olds and younger who's parents either don't care or have little control over the kids regarding their future health and the inability to just say no.

  • Anon
    January 30, 2014 - 06:18

    The age should probably be 18, but any parent who would consent to their kids doing it any younger should be charged with negligence. Those beds are dangerous and i'd doubt spray tans are much safer.

  • Angus
    January 30, 2014 - 05:50

    Suck it up Mr. lawlor