Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) announced the Assembly passed legislation he authored that would prohibit children under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning beds (A.1074). This measure was introduced to help protect younger generations from developing skin cancer from overexposure to UV rays.
“With prom season heightening the appeal of bronzed skin, more teenagers turn to tanning beds without understanding the severe consequences,” Weisenberg said. “The skin damage that is inflicted from tanning early on in life is 100 percent preventable. My wife and I are both skin cancer survivors, and I am determined to protect young people from this disease.”
“There are so many cancers that we can do nothing about,” said Colette Coyne of the Colette Coyne Melanoma Awareness Campaign. “For the most part, melanoma is a preventable disease through education and early detection. I am proud to live in New York State where we have leadership willing to make a difference.”
Melanoma is the most fatal form of skin cancer, responsible for over 80 percent of skin cancer deaths, according to the Medical Society of the State of New York. According to the New York State Department of Health, Nassau County has a 15 percent higher rate of melanoma than the rest of the state.i
Repeated exposure to the UV rays produced by tanning beds can damage skin and increase the chances of developing melanoma or other skin diseases. Studies show that the use of indoor tanning by teenagers has increased from 1 percent to 27 percent since 1998.ii
“Our current law, allowing teens as young as 14 to enter tanning booths with their parents’ permission, doesn’t go far enough,” Weisenberg said. “This measure will better protect our children and families, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate before the end of this session.”
ii American Cancer Society. “Indoor Tanning Beds Increase the Risk of Skin Cancer. March 2010.