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Texas teens bid farewell to tanning beds

Texas will now join California, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada in prohibiting tanning beds for minors younger than 18 years of age. This announcement comes shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.

Anti-skin cancer organizations are pleased and hope to see a decrease in skin cancer rates over time. “The American Academy of Dermatology Association is proud to have supported this legislation and commends the state of Texas for joining the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood.”

Legislation prohibiting the use of indoor tanning beds by minors under 18 passed both the Texas Senate and House in May. Gov. Rick Perry did not sign or veto the bill within the 20-day period. Therefore, the bill automatically became law. The ban will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2013.

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Tanning bed legislation – where are we now?

This week, the Connecticut Health Committee passed a bill they hope will ban teens from tanning beds. The state senate and house still need to pass the bill before it becomes state law. Nationally, anti-tanning bed regulations have increased significantly over the past decade due to rapidly increasing skin cancer rates and new studies on the negative health effects of indoor tanning.

Also in the news this week, New Jersey officially signed their teen tanning bed ban into law. Now, no one under 17 years of age will be able to use a UV tanning bed. Curious where your state stands?

Tanning bed legislation in the U.S.

  • 5/2/2012, Vermont became the second state to ban indoor tanning for those 18 years and younger.
  • 10/9/2011, California became the first state to prohibit indoor tanning for children under age 18.
  • As of today, over 30 states restrict indoor tanning use by minors.

National Conference of State Legislatures Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors (July 2012)

Resources:
1. Norwich Bulletin
2. Washington Post
3. American Academy of Dermatology
4. National Conference of State Legislatures

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Policymakers Regulate Indoor Tanning for Minors

If you’re under 18 years old and live in the state of California or Vermont, say goodbye to tanning bed use once and for all. California stepped up and became the first state in the nation to ban the use of indoor tanning beds for all minors under 18. The CA ban went into effect on January 1, 2012, followed by Vermont on July 1, 2012 – both monumental dates in the anti-tanning movement.

“According to (California) State Senator Ted Lieu, who introduced and sponsored the legislation on its long journey through the state assembly, the bill’s successful passage provides hope that similar action can be achieved in other states across the United States. ‘I strongly believe that this law is a good model for other states and countries to follow,’ says Mr. Lieu. ‘Every year the evidence is more overwhelming that tanning greatly increases one’s likelihood of skin cancer, which is why we need to keep pushing the envelope to bring about more legislation to restrict indoor tanning,’ Mr. Lieu notes.”

The National Council of State Governments has assembled an easy to read graph and table for state indoor tanning laws and regulations for minors for a side by side comparison. Visit their website to learn more about the anti-tanning legislation in your state.

2012 State Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors 2012 State Indoor Tanning Laws for Minors

Make your voice heard.

If you believe indoor tanning devices should receive the maximum amount of regulation, which more closely matches the health risks of these harmful devices, write a letter of support to your state elected representatives urging the FDA to regulate tanning beds and ban those under 18 from using them.  You can also email The Skin Cancer Foundation at advocacy@skincancer.org. The Foundation will compile all emails of support and send them to the FDA Commissioner Margaret Hamburg’s office.

Resources:

National Conference of State Legislatures

Practical Dermatology

The Skin Cancer Foundation

The Coolibar Blog

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