Tan freeGraduating from high school is an important moment in anyone’s life. All the hard work in the classroom finally pays off. And so to celebrate, you want to make sure you look your best for graduation.

But all too often grads go to the tanning booths thinking they need a tan for that perfect look. Little do they know the great risk they are taking.

To help students understand the risks of tanning and to remind them that we don’t need a tan to be beautiful, the Canadian Cancer Society is proud to present tan-free grads.


What is a tan-free grad?

A tan-free grad is a student-led initiative.

Students can showcase their leadership by encouraging their friends and classmates to make the pledge to be tan-free (both indoor and outdoor) for prom, graduation or convocation.

Tan-free grads are already happening with great success across Ontario, Manitoba and B.C.

Saskatchewan has had several successful tan-free grads in the past two years. Schools in Regina, North Battleford, Weyburn, Melfort, Moose Jaw, Fort Qu’Appelle and Saskatoon have taken on the challenge. The Society also delivered tan-free presentations to students as far north as Prince Albert and as far south as Estevan.


Why organize a tan-free grad at your school?

A tan-free grad at your high school, college or university is a great way to fight cancer, and to make a difference in your school community at the same time. And it’s a great way to showcase your leadership skills.

A tan-free grad is a great experience for any school. Students become engaged and active in a campaign that promotes teamwork, healthy living and having fun.


Tan freeWhy should I take the pledge to go tan-free for grad?

Here are just a few reasons for you to think about:

  • Skin cancer is one of the most common forms of cancer for those between the ages of 15-29.
  • Using a tanning bed before the age of 35 increases your chances of developing melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer - by 59%.
  • The World Health Organization has also put tanning beds as a level 1 carcinogen, the same level as tobacco, asbestos and arsenic.

I’m thinking about taking this on at my school. What’s involved?

To ensure a successful tan-free grad, you’ll want to plan to put in a little bit of time to organize and promote the campaign.

This includes putting up posters, working pledge weeks and spreading the word about the campaign to your friends and classmates.

Download the Tan-Free Grad toolkit.

View posters and materials to help ensure you can promote your campaign in your school.


'Tan-free selfie' contest winners?

Congratulations to Connor, Nia and Jade, the winners inof the 2015 Tan Free Selfie contest. They embraced their natural skin tone and showed us their SunSense. They each won a $100 gift card to Sport Chek, Shoppers Drug Mart or Galaxy Cinemas.

Stay tuned for details for next year’s contest.

So are you ready to take the challenge and fight back?

  • Contact our cancer control team by email at or call us at (306)790-5822 to sign up your school and organize a tan-free grad.
  • Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and challenge your friends to join the tan-free challenge.

Still not convinced?

Check out the personal stories of melanoma survivors and learn how young people made the decision to tan for their graduation and are now living with consequences.


Tan free


Privacy | Contact us

2017 Canadian Cancer Society. All rights reserved.