Legislation to Ban Indoor Tanning for Youth Passes Assembly

Proposed law has been agreed on by both the State Assembly and Senate
June 14, 2012
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Nassau County) announced that legislation he authored that would ban indoor tanning booths for all children under the age of 17 has the support of both the Assembly and Senate (A.1074-B). After four years of negotiation, this agreement will help keep children safe from the dangers of skin cancer. The agreed upon legislation, was overwhelmingly approved by the Assembly today, and is expected to pass the Senate soon, Assemblyman Weisenberg noted.

“Children have started using tanning beds at an alarmingly high rate in recent years, and many don’t understand the deadly consequences,” Assemblyman Weisenberg said. “The harmful effects of UV exposure accumulate over time, which means skin damage inflicted at an early age can cause major health problems down the road. This historic agreement will keep our children safe from the dangers of indoor tanning beds.”

Repeated exposure to the UV rays produced by tanning beds increases the chance of developing melanoma, the most fatal form of skin cancer responsible for over 80 percent of skin cancer deaths. Studies have shown that indoor tanning among teenagers has increased from 1 percent to 27 percent since 1998. [1]

In 2006, Assemblyman Weisenberg authored a law that prohibited children under the age of 14 from using indoor tanning beds, and required those between 14 and 17 to have written permission from their parent or guardian prior to using indoor tanning beds (Ch. 573 of 2006). The new legislation would raise the minimum age for tanning to 17, and require 17-year olds to have written permission. Assemblyman Weisenberg said the Assembly will introduce legislation extending the ban to all minors during the next session.

“Indoor tanning booths cause skin cancer, and no child should be risking his or her health,” Assemblyman Weisenberg said. “This measure will go a long way toward protecting our children and our families from the often fatal complications of melanoma and I applaud my colleagues in the Senate for agreeing to strengthen indoor tanning regulations. I look forward to the Senate approving this bill, and the governor signing this legislation into law.”

[1] American Cancer Society. “Indoor Tanning Beds Increase the Risk of Skin Cancer” March 2010.