Michaels: Fake tans on teens are stupid, tacky and banned

Who knew Health Minister Mike de Jong would need to get between B.C. teenagers and their desire for orange skin?

Who knew Health Minister Mike de Jong would need to get between B.C. teenagers and their desire for orange skin?

One would have thought the frightful looking cast of the Jersey Shore or a fear of melanoma would have become a deterrent long ago, but according to Kathryn Seely, director of public issues for the Canadian Cancer Society, that’s not the case.

“Our most recent research shows that up to a quarter of youths still use indoor tanning beds,” she said, after the provincial announcement that minors will soon be restricted from using commercial tanning beds unless they’re provided a prescription by a medical doctor.

It begs the question, is there something wrong with parents?

Things is, young people have a developing frontal lobe that gives them a pass on a lot of stupid/impetuous decisions until their early 20s. It’s the reason why I don’t beat myself up when I notice the faint scars from piercings acquired during the grunge era.

Presumably, however, most parents have fully functioning brains, that allow them to make comment on matters more dire than a lapse in fashion sense.

Tanning beds have been shown to increase the risk of melanoma—the third-most commonly diagnosed cancer in youths between the ages of 15 and 29—by 75 per cent.

So when one-quarter of Canadian parents see their children heading home with a preternatural glow why don’t they say “hey, Sally, why are you taking steps to age rapidly?”

And: “Do you really want to suffer the pain of ridding yourself of skin cancer (knock on wood it’s possible) for the short term gain of a tan?”

Or, finally: “Howzabout discussing the ways you don’t become a drain on health care?”

Perhaps these conversations aren’t being held because the bulk of Canadian adults are suffering from a historic position of privilege, coupled with a blissful dose of ignorance.

Most of us can’t fathom a world where sun-worshiping is just as distasteful  as lighting up a cigarette in the middle of a daycare.

But there are countries in Asia where it’s the norm to see women walk around with full plastic face masks to ensure they don’t suffer the aging effects of the sun.

Australians are inundated with public service announcements warning citizens of the deadly effects of the sun and related rising costs of health care. So much so, that it almost dwarfs  Canada’s fight to make people stop smoking.

We’re still in pretty good stead in this corner of the world when it comes to natural sources of vitamin D, so maybe the cancer society’s 25 per cent estimate isn’t a sign of stupidity.

Maybe it’s a sign Canadians need a little less legislation and a lot more education.

Just Posted

Okanagan Wildfires: An afternoon update on wildfires and evacuations

A Sunday afternoon look at the major wildfires impacting the Okanagan and Similkameen.

Mediation talks break off in casino strike

Gateway and BCGEU have no new date set for mediation

Motorcyclist taken to hospital following crash near Vernon

Extent of injuries not yet known following motorcycle in ditch on Commonage Road Sunday, July 22

All-Indigenous teams break new ground, making BC Games history

This is the first time there have been dedicated Indigenous teams at the BC Summer Games

Canada to resettle dozens of White Helmets and their families from Syria

There are fears the volunteers would become a target for government troops

Francesco Molinari wins British Open at Carnoustie

It is his first win at a major and the first by an Italian

Government sets full-time salary range for Justin Trudeau’s nanny

At its top range, the order works out to a rate of $21.79 per hour, assuming a 40-hour work week

ZONE 2: Okanagan twins bring ultimate competition to the BC Games

Brothers Connor and Holden Berrisford are each other’s main motivators

Recovery high schools could help teens before addiction takes hold: B.C. parents

Schools could provide mental health supports and let parents discuss their children’s drug use openly

Haida Gwaii village faces housing crisis, targets short-term rentals

Housing is tight and the village is pretty close to zero vacancy

B.C. VIEWS: Unions regain control of public construction

B.C.’s 40-year battle swings back to international big labour

B.C. mining company, involved in 2014 spill, ordered to pay lost wages

Mount Polley Mining Company must pay wages to 26 employees who were laid off without proper notice

Most Read