Lawmakers Push Tanning Ban for Teens

Some state lawmakers are working to stop teenagers from soaking up rays at tanning salons. They cite evidence of an increased risk of skin cancers from using tanning beds, especially for high school and college-aged women. News 25’s Kendra Turley gives us a closer look at both proposed bills.
Over the years, indoor tanning has become quite a popular trend for males and females of all ages. Erin Korte uses indoor tanning. She said, “I tan every time I come to the gym. So, about four or five times a week and I’ve been tanning since I was about 16.”
Mississippi Legislators are proposing two bills that would stop the use of tanning beds at an early age. House bill 1182 and Senate bill 2076 would ban minors from using indoor tanning devices and would impose fines on salon owners who violate the rule. “I think you know, maybe it’s their body, they can do what they want. Maybe if they’re under the age at least get a parent’s consent instead of having someone tell them what they can and cannot do with their body,” said Korte.
Supporters of the ban cite evidence of an increased risk of skin cancers from using tanning beds, especially for high school and college-age women. Planet Fitness changed its indoor tanning requirements at the beginning of the year for many of the same reasons. General manager Jonea Mitzel said, “Members under the age of 18 are more susceptible to the adverse effects of tanning such as skin cancer, burning and eye damage, so we just feel it’s in the best health interest of our members to hold off on tanning until they reach that age.”
This isn’t the first proposed ban in Mississippi. Just last year, similar House and Senate bills died in committee. Many facilities have already decided to do away with tanning beds and lamps. For instance, Rhodes Club Fitness in Gulfport only offers spray tanning as an option.
Members of the tanning industry are calling the proposed ban excessive. Frequent indoor tanners along the Coast tell News 25 that safety requirements should be more of a focus than age requirements. “Every time I’ve tanned, I’ve used some type of tanning lotion with an SPF of at least 30 to protect my skin somewhat. I always put a towel over my face to protect the face. I always wear protective eyewear.”
If the proposed ban is approved, the law would take effect as soon as July 1st.

Categories: Health, Local News, Mississippi State News, News

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