10/15/2012 03:32 EDT | Updated 10/14/2013 12:23 EDT

BC Tanning Ban Now In Effect For Minors

VICTORIA - Teens craving sun-kissed skin have one less option now that a tanning ban has come into effect.

Effective Oct. 15, tanning salons must post signs informing the public they won't serve anyone under the age of 18 and if they do they could face a $345 fine for each offence.

The provincial governmental made changes under the Public Health Act last March aimed at reducing the chances people will develop skin cancer later in life.

The only exception to the ban is for youth who have a medical prescription which requires ultraviolet light treatment, such as for the condition psoriasis.

The B.C. Cancer Agency estimates that 966 British Columbians will have been diagnosed with the skin cancer melanoma by the end of 2012, while 150 people will die from the disease.

The World Health Organization says indoor tanning before the age of 35 boosts the risks of developing melanoma by 75 per cent, but while incidence rates in Canada are rising it is also one of the most preventable cancers.

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