Coolibar, American Cancer Society Lobby at Capitol for Teen Indoor Tanning Ban

Apr 03, 2014 No Comments by

As state legislators across the US consider bills that would regulate or ban the use of indoor tanning beds by minors, Coolibar recently attended Tan-Free Teens Day in support of the Minnesota Skin Cancer Prevention Act (SF 1901) at the Minnesota State Capitol in St. Paul. The lobbying effort was part of a national initiative spearheaded by the American Cancer Society – Cancer Action Network (ACS-CAN), the nation’s leading cancer advocacy organization.

Loren Adams, Coolibar: Sen. Ron Latz, DFL MN Dist 46

Volunteers from the Twin Cities and outstate communities gathered March 5 for a breakfast presentation where ACS-CAN staff from Minnesota and Washington, DC outlined the provisions of the bill and the legislative process. In the afternoon, staff and volunteers visited with Minnesota state senators and representatives at the Capitol, educCoolibar at Tan Free Teens Dayating and advocating for passage of SF 1901.

According to ACS-CAN, more than 100 volunteers had personal conversations with some 150 lawmakers, or 75% of those voting on the bill. The same day, the bill was debated in the Minnesota Senate Health Committee, where it passed easily.

Deb Thoman, MD - ACS Rebecca Thoman, MD & Friend

 

The bill has since passed through the Minnesota House and an additional hearing in the Senate. It will likely be bundled with other healthcare-related bills and then voted on by the entire Senate, according to Rebecca Thoman, M.D. of the American Cancer Society.

Who is Considering Measures for Tan-Free Teens?

All of this takes place as two states recently passed legislation restricting indoor tanning for minors. At least five other states are considering similar bills in their legislatures:

  • Hawaii – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 18
  • Louisiana – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 17
  • Missouri – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 17
  • Pennsylvania – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 16
  • Nebraska – Law would prohibit tanning bed use by anyone under 16

The following U.S. states currently ban indoor tanning for minors:

  • Indiana – Just passed a law banning the use of tanning beds for those 16 & under
  • Washington – Just passed a law banning the use of tanning beds for those 17 & under
  • California – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Illinois – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Nevada – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Texas – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Oregon – bans tanning bed use for anyone under 18
  • Connecticut – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • New Jersey – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • Vermont – bans tanning bed use for those under 17
  • Wisconsin – bans tanning bed use for those under 16

Why Support the Ban?

According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, which is part of the the World Health Organization (WHO), “Policymakers should consider enacting measures, such as prohibiting minors and discouraging young adults from using indoor tanning facilities, to protect the general population from possible additional risk for melanoma.” And the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says that people who begin tanning before age 35 have a 59% higher risk of developing melanoma, the most deadly form of skin cancer.

In 2009, the WHO issued a warning that labeled ultraviolet rays from tanning beds a Class 1 carcinogen. Shortly afterward, Brazil became the first country to ban the use of indoor tanning equipment altogether. It is widely banned for anyone under 18 across Europe and in parts of Canada; about 15 other US states have some form of restriction, such as a parental consent requirement, for teens using indoor tanning equipment.

For information on cancer lobbying efforts in your state visit the events page at ACS-CAN.

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