New Pa. law bans most minors from tanning salons - abc27 WHTM

New Pa. law bans most minors from tanning salons

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Pennsylvania has told teens to tan the old fashioned way: outdoors.

Governor Tom Corbett on Tuesday signed legislation that bans most children from indoor tanning facilities.

Flipping on that blue light can be irresistible for young teens. A few minutes under the UV lights promises a soft glow, but state lawmakers argue the issue of teen tanning is black and white – is not safe.

Two tanning beds inside Fitness U in Strawberry Square overlooks the Capitol. Manager Erika Moyer said there has been a wave of young women seemingly addicted to tanning.

"I've seen multiple people coming in every day, every day, every day, for an entire month," Moyer said.

For quite some time, Fitness U has had a strict 18-and-over policy for its indoor tanning beds. It appears state lawmakers feel the same way.

Pennsylvania’s new law prohibits teens ages 16 and younger from using indoor tanning facilities. A 17-year-old must have parental consent.

"I think that's good that the younger generations are staying away from tanning booths,” Moyer said, “because we see more research coming out that tanning is detrimental to health."

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a study in 2011 that found tanning is growing in popularity among young teens. Thirteen percent of all high school students engaged in indoor tanning, 21 percent were high schools girls, and 32 percent of those were in the 12th grade.

The CDC said statistics reveal there are 419,000 new cases of skin cancer each year; many as a result of indoor tanning. When compared to cigarette use, there are only 226,000 new lung cancer cases each year.

Attempts to contact the Indoor Tanning Association were not returned Tuesday. However, after previous state laws were enacted, they issued statements that argued 16 year olds are permitted to drive, hunt, own guns and even get married, but are not allowed to tan.

While the law will take effect in 60 days, the debate about government controlled health risks versus freedoms will continue. The state will charge tanning facilities per bed, which will help fund to regulate this law.

Moyer said the new law will help educate a new generation before they become victims to overusing the "fake-n-bake."

“I don't think a lot of kids know the damaging effects,” she said.” I think that this will bring it to light and to educate them a little bit more."

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