09/01/2013 09:17 EDT | Updated 11/01/2013 05:12 EDT

Tanning beds now off limits for P.E.I. minors

As of Sept. 1, Prince Edward Island joins the rest of the Maritimes in banning tanning beds for minors.

The new regulations mean anyone under the age of 18 will no longer be permitted to use tanning beds on the Island. Users will now have to present a government ID before slipping into a tanning bed.

Fines will be issued for businesses that don't follow the law, starting at $1,000 for the first offence.

Health Minister Doug Currie said P.E.I. has one of highest rates of melanoma in Canada and he hopes the legislation will curb those figures.

Dr. Richard Langley, president of the Canadian Dermatology Association of Canada, said despite the new regulations, more work needs to be done to cut skin cancer rates.

“The tanning bed is one component of practicing healthy skin behaviour in the prevention story. Avoiding them altogether even in the older population is important in preventing skin cancer, but it is only one component of it. You know avoiding mid-day sun between the hours of 10 and three, wearing sunscreen, seeking shade, avoiding sun burn, these are all important,” he said.

The Canadian Paediatric Society has said 25 per cent of Canadians aged 13 to 19 have used a tanning salon.