Assemblyman John Ceretto (R,I-Lewiston) today helped pass legislation prohibiting children 16 years of age and under from using ultraviolet (UV) tanning beds and requiring 17-year-olds to have parental consent before using the beds. The purpose of the bill is to help reduce rates of skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States.
“Indoor tanning beds pose a greater risk for children and teens by boosting overall lifetime exposure to harmful UV rays, which overtime make people more susceptible to melanoma and other skin cancers,” said Ceretto. “By prohibiting tanning for those under 16, we are helping to reduce exposure to harmful ultraviolet rays and sending a clear message that indoor tanning poses real health consequences.”
Ceretto noted that the bill amends a current law which prohibits children under 14 years of age from using ultraviolet tanning beds and requires 14- to 18-year-olds to receive parental consent before using the tanning beds.
According to the American Cancer Society, the number of melanomas diagnosed in the U.S. has doubled since 1973, and more than one million cases of non-melanoma cell cancers were expected in 2009, the last year statistics were available.
“Skin cancer is a serious and growing health issue across our nation,” said Ceretto. “By reducing young people’s exposure to harmful UV rays, we can help improve the health and well-being of New Yorkers and prevent teens from causing irreparable damage to their bodies at a young age.”