Vermont outlaws indoor tanning for minors

May 16, 2012

Vermont residents under age 18 will have to wait until the sun is out to tan. A new law there will ban the use of indoor tanning beds by minors, making it the second state in the country, after California, to place an age restriction on indoor tanning.

Montpelier, Vt. - Vermont residents under age 18 will have to wait until the sun is out to tan. A new law there will ban the use of indoor tanning beds by minors, making it the second state in the country, after California, to place an age restriction on indoor tanning.
 
The legislation comes amid steadily rising cancer rates, in Vermont and nationwide. The rate of melanoma among Vermont women 15 and over has increased by more than 30 percent since 2004, according to a news release by the American Academy of Dermatology. An estimated 220 Vermont residents will die from melanoma this year.

“Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds,” said Daniel M. Siegel, M.D., president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues through adolescence into young adulthood.”

A study published recently in the International Journal of Cancer found greater risk for melanoma among people who begin tanning in their teens and 20s.

“Prevention is one of the most valuable tools that we have as dermatologists,” said Kathryn Schwarzenberger, M.D., professor of medicine, University of Vermont College of Medicine. “Enacting House Bill 157 sends a strong message from the state that tanning is a dangerous behavior and should be avoided.”

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