California first to ban all teen tanning bed use

October 12, 2011

Minors in California will no longer be permitted to use tanning beds, under a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Oct. 9, Reuters reports.

Sacramento, Calif. - Minors in California will no longer be permitted to use tanning beds, under a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law Sunday, Reuters reports.

Legislators say this makes California the first state to prohibit anyone under the age of 18 from using commercial indoor tanning devices. Previously, the state had banned children under age 14 from using sunbeds, but had allowed those between 14 and 18 years to tan with the consent of their parents.

The bill was part of a cluster of legislation signed on Sunday designed to "improve the health and well-being of Californians," according to a statement from the governor's office.

Reuters quotes state Sen. Ted Lieu as saying, “I praise Gov. Brown for his courage in taking this much-needed step. … If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds, they'd be shocked. Skin cancer is a rising epidemic and the leading cause of cancer death for women between 25 and 29.”

The measure was sponsored by the California Society of Dermatology and Dermatological Surgery and the AIM at Melanoma Foundation, and backed by other medical organizations and health insurers, according to CBS News. A spokesman for the Indoor Tanning Association said the ban will hurt businesses, according the report. About 5 to 10 percent of ITA members' customers are under 18.

The law will take effect Jan. 1.

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