Thanks to Governor Jerry Brown and melanoma awareness advocates such as AIM at Melanoma, the California legislation that would ban minors 18 and under from using tanning beds has been signed into law! The law, SB 746, will take effect January 1, 2012. Currently, California allows minors who are 15-17 years old to use tanning beds with written permission from their parents. California is the first in the nation to set a higher age limit restricting minors from tanning bed use. Texas has the next highest age limit and teens are able to use tanning beds from the age of 16. Illinois, New York, Ohio and Rhode Island have age restrictions and are considering doing the same as California, but have not yet begun a campaign.
A while back Samantha Guild of AIM at Melanoma joined us for our Ban The Tan Twitter Party. She spoke of ways to get our voice heard and how to support the legislation by contacting the Governor. All of that hard work has paid off. It’s so amazing what can be done when people pull together for a common (history making) cause! SB 746 has had the support of the American Cancer Society, California Medical Association and AIM at Melanoma. Obvious opposition have been the Indoor Tanning Association, Hollywood Tan, Palm Beach Tan and Club Tan. Tanning is a luxury that targets 5-10% of teenagers in affluent areas of California which will be business lost for tanning salon owners. Bummer. This law has the best interest of our future generations in mind. Teens are bombarded with messages that a tan makes a person look healthy and beautiful. Now it is time to bombard our teens with messages to love the skin we are in!
The business lost from this law will be well worth the young lives saved.