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

2014 murder case finally goes to trial

Steven Randy Pirko was charged with second-degree murder in 2016

Flood recovery work set to begin in Kelowna

The first phase of $5 million dollar flood recovery plan for Upper Vernon Creek will begin on Monday

Kelowna exhibition showcases nature of Haida Gwaii

The Kelowna Art Gallery is holding a reception for Gwaii Haanas – Islands and Sacred Sites Friday

Accused in Kelowna murder heads to court

Chad Alphonse is accused of killing Waylon Percy Junior Jackson, back in 2016

Crime Stoppers: Stamping out crime for 31 years

Beginning in Kelowna, Central Okanagan Crime Stoppers has take a big bite out of crime

Dine Around Thompson Okanagan kicks off

Fifty restaurants in the region will participate in this year’s event

Quite a few tears as homemade quilts distributed to residents of Ashcroft Reserve, Boston Flats affected by last summer’s fire

Quilters in B.C. and Alberta worked through the summer and fall to create more than 100 quilts.

Island Health: No need for alarm in wake of Victoria needle-prick incidents

Three incidents in a week prompts meeting between health authority, city service providers

B.C. coast loggers celebrate history, hope for improvement

Truck Loggers Association awaits B.C. NDP government’s new direction

Possible explosive device found in Kamloops home

The RCMP explosive disposal unit from the Lower Mainland was called to neutralize the device

Okanagan Symphony offers taste of Vienna

The Okanagan Symphony Orchestra presents Viennese Delights in Jan. 19-21

Global Affairs aware of report of two Canadians kidnapped in Nigeria

The foreigners were heading south from Kafanchan to Abuja when they were ambushed around Kagarko

Whistler role in potential Calgary Olympic bid would be welcome: IOC

Calgary is mulling whether to vie for the 2026 Games, and could look to facilities in B.C.

Letter: With presidents, the more things change…

Kelowna letter-writer says some things never change

Most Read