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Should States Ban Tanning Beds For Teens?

I hate to sound like a broken record, but tanning is so bad for you. Put aside the accelerated signs of aging, which are no trip to the beach. (Ha.) Not only does UV exposure create uneven skin tone and wrinkles, it also can cause melanoma.

That's what happened to Miss Florida Teen USA Kayla Collier. At age 15, she began visiting tanning salons, and within a year, she was diagnosed with skin cancer. She believes that tanning was a factor in her illness. Now cancer-free, she's campaigning for a bill that would ban tanning-bed use by people younger than 16. "I know teenagers that go every day, every week, twice a day sometimes to tanning beds," she told lawmakers. "I do believe that it did play a part in my skin cancer."

Florida isn't the only state grappling with this issue; Texas and Vermont are also considering restrictions on teen tanning. Supporters say that anything that protects young teenagers from melanoma is a good thing; opponents say that states shouldn't meddle in their biz-a-ness. Where do you stand?


Join The Conversation
Symphonee Symphonee 8 years
Just because people can find ways to circumvent the law does not mean that the law should not be in place. Young girls are engaging in risky behavior by laying down on a bed of lights to look "pretty". Just like no one wants to hear the story of a woman who started drinking at age 10 because she thought she would look cool and now she is dealing with severe liver disease; I don't want to hear the story of a woman going through chemo because she tanned regularly starting at 12. If you want skin cancer awareness for younger teens, have the players in the tanning industry pay for it just like the players in the tobacco industry pay for anti smoking awareness.
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 8 years
You think teens would be old enough to know better but I know 25 year olds who go out, spend their entire pay packet getting plowed and rock up to work the next day still drunk. I think there should be more awareness about the dangers and a18+ restriction put in place, and anyone over 15 should have parental consent.
0037sammie 0037sammie 8 years
Yes, it should be banned for kiddies. Clearly her and her friends parents are too ditzy to stop them, so the state *should* step in. Disgusting the way some children are dragged up and made to grow up too fast. Whatever happened to actually being a kid? Play outside, dammit. Walk away from the tanning bed and ideas of boob jobs at 16.
Renees3 Renees3 8 years
I just hate that society is making women out of girls younger and younger. I mean the way young girls dress, act, makeup, hair all that, its like STOP!
aimeeb aimeeb 8 years
Yes. I see major overkill in young girls runing their skin and putting their health at risk.
Jennipoo Jennipoo 8 years
I'm with Rachel. Go for a spray if it's necessary. Plus, think of the future. You're skin looks (apparently) good NOW when it's tan... but won't be when you're 40 and have leather skin. ew.
rachelsmith rachelsmith 8 years
I embrace my pale and if I really needed a tan, I'd get a spray. Helps that I am at high genetic risk of melanoma. Go sunscreen! But I don't know about legislating. Teens shouldn't go, too much at least, but states shouldn't legislate it. And twice a day? That's insane. Utterly.
Talldiva45 Talldiva45 8 years
I mean - I said no but only bc. if they can't get their tan on in the salon teens will just bake outside. Ppl will always find a way...but I guess there should be an age limit for those who don't have any common sense in their teen yrs...
emalove emalove 8 years
100% YES.
SKC-Sparkle SKC-Sparkle 8 years
I agree with runningesq to a certain degree. There is an 18+ policy for driving, smoking, drinking, etc, but just because you are an adult does not mean you are capable of making wise decisions. People know smoking and over-exposure to the sun causes cancer but they still do. This is draining our already strained health care.
genesisrocks genesisrocks 8 years
Teens are old enough to know better, they can make their own decisions.
runningesq runningesq 8 years
I don't think they should be banned for everyone. Plenty of things that are "bad for you" (smoking, drinking, etc.) are legal. It's up to an adult to decide whether to tan. That said, laws are sometimes enacted to protect children -- look at the age limits for driving, drinking, smoking, purchasing pornography, etc. I'm in favor of an 18+ policy.
cordata cordata 8 years
they should be banned for everyone!
Candie-Girl Candie-Girl 8 years
They should ban it for everybody! Seriously, this is worse than the sun by itself!
countchocula countchocula 8 years
I would never tan and I have no qualms about remaining pasty but... that's my choice. If other girls and women want to self-destruct, it's their problem. There is a minimum age for smoking and yet people under 18 still find a way to acquire cigarettes. You can't buy booze or drink till you're 21 but you can always find an older friend or sibling to hook you up. These age requirement laws are just another nuisance but people will find a way around them as well. The government needs to stop meddling in its citizens' private lives... even if the measure is to protect the citizens' health. Individuals should be responsible for maintaining their own health. That being said, I wouldn't be against an anti-tanning campaign. Exposing the harmful effects of tanning and giving people alternatives to tanning would be far more effective than just another restriction.
ktc71 ktc71 8 years
I have never used a tanning bed in my life and I never will. I'm proud of my pale skin. :)
brittanyk brittanyk 8 years
I totally agree with symphonee. It boggles my mind how many people still tan. Honestly, I would say 50% of the girls I go to college with tan. Possibly more than that. There's advertising all over the place for the local tanning salon on campus. They randomly have people from the company handing out free tan certificates, teeshirts, key chains, etc. It seriously disgusts me. It's not like they *think* tanning beds cause skin cancer, they do. Why would you wish that upon yourself, minor or not?
janetwrogers janetwrogers 8 years
I'm all for letting adults make their own stupid decisions, as long as they aren't causing harm to anyone else, but I feel differently about minors. And I don't think parental guidance is sufficient either because some kids have stupid parents.
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 8 years
Seriously, WHO uses a tanning bed anymore? It is so terribly bad for you and there are some really great do it yourself products, or spray tan options now. Tanning beds are not needed.
blondie829 blondie829 8 years
I agree that there should be a limit on the number of times per week, but I'm not in favor of banning it. Seems kind of extreme.
eshellmoyer eshellmoyer 8 years
Maybe not for older teens, but on that horrible show about a tanning salon, one woman wanted a package for her young daughter (like ten if I remember) that included both a spray tan and a tanning bed tan. If the tanning salon people had said anything they would have risked angering a loyal client, so I think there needs to be something on state books about children that young. Parental waivers wouldn't be enough, since there are parents bent on making their children into little Barbie dolls whether the kid wants to be or not.
lixystix lixystix 8 years
symphonee youre so right
mondaymoos mondaymoos 8 years
Most tanning salons already require a waiver if you're under the age of 18, so I fail to see how this changes anything. Another huge waste of time. If you're ignoring everything on the machine, in the lobby and usually in the tanning room itself that says "may cause cancer", it's your own problem.
caryatid caryatid 8 years
can we just revert to a society in which pale skin was prized??? i'd be the freaking queen! damn you, coco chanel...
Can I Use Coca-Cola to Tan?
How Are Tanning Beds Still a Thing?
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