Indoor tanning laws increase globally, stateside

July 25, 2012

Several countries and U.S. states, New York among the most recent, have implemented indoor tanning bans or restrictions for minors during the past decade, according to a new study.

Aurora, Colo. - Several countries and U.S. states, New York among the most recent, have implemented indoor tanning bans or restrictions for minors during the past decade, according to a new study.

Researchers with Colorado School of Public Health conducted an Internet search to compile a list of countries and U.S. states that ban or restrict indoor tanning. Between 2003 and 2011, the number of countries with age restrictions on indoor tanning increased from two - Brazil and France - to 11, with the addition of Spain, Portugal, Germany, Austria, Belgium, England, Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland, Reuters Health reports. In 1997, France became the first country to incorporate restrictions on indoor tanning for adolescents under age 18.

From 2003 to 2011, the number of U.S. states with indoor tanning restrictions increased from three to 11, according to Reuters Health. Wisconsin, Illinois and Texas had laws restricting access for children in 2003, and were joined by eight more states by 2011.

Earlier this year, Vermont restricted teens’ access to indoor tanning facilities, and on July 16 New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that prohibits the use of indoor tanning beds by people age 16 and younger. The new law also requires 17 year olds to obtain parental consent for tanning bed use. More than 20 other states require parental consent before a minor can use a tanning bed, according to the study.

“Prevention is one of the most valuable tools that we have as dermatologists,” Daniel M. Siegel, M.D., president of the American Academy of Dermatology, said in a news release regarding New York’s new law. “This law will protect children and adolescents from the health hazards of indoor tanning and send a strong message from the state that tanning is a dangerous behavior and should be avoided.”

The study was published in Archives of Dermatology.

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