The province is aiming to ban the use of tanning beds by Nova Scotians under the age of 19.

Health Minister Maureen MacDonald introduced legislation last night that, if made law, would restrict the use of tanning beds to adults 19 and up.

In addition, operators would be required to display signage outlining the negative health effects of tanning, such as skin cancer.

“This legislation is aimed at our youth in the same way that we have tobacco legislation, for example,” MacDonald told reporters yesterday.

MacDonald said the department doesn’t have hard data on how many youth in the province use tanning beds, but that it estimates there are approximately 150 tanning-bed operators provincewide.

Violators could be fined up to $2,000 for a first offence. The fine would jump to $5,000 for a second and to $10,000 for a third or repeat offence.

Maureen Summers, CEO of the Canadian Cancer Society’s Nova Scotia branch, applauded the legislation, calling it “an important step in cancer prevention.”