Bill would restrict teen tanning - News, Weather and Sports for Lincoln, NE;

Bill would restrict teen tanning

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Posted By: Camila Orti

How young is too young? The legislature will vote on a bill this week that would restrict tanning for teens.

Omaha Sen. Jeremy Nordquist introduced the bill, which he's calling the Skin Care Prevention Act, in January. It's not a topic new to the legislature. Nordquist brought a similar bill last year.

LB132 would make it illegal for minors under the age of 16 to use indoor tanning beds. This worries those in the tanning business.

"Anytime you have government coming into your privately owned business, it's a little concerning," Max Tan owner Michelle Grubbs said.

She says her main concern is not the age restriction, but government's hand in private business.

"Where does it stop?" Grubbs said.

Nordquist's bill is intended to prevent youth skin cancer. Doctors say studies have shown that most melanomas under age 30 were directly caused by indoor tanning.

The bill would also require facilities to post signs warning customers of the risks in a visible location.

Grubbs would just like to see a level playing field.

"If the American Cancer Society lists exposure to natural sunlight as the leading cause of skin cancer, then why is he coming after tanning salons?" Grubbs said.

Others agree that putting age restrictions on tanning should be in the hands of parents, not the government.

"I think that a child's health should be first but again I think it should be up to the child and their family to determine what that is," Paula Sharkey of Lincoln said.

Even though it's not the leading cause of cancer, dermatologists say UV-rays from tanning bulbs are still very dangerous.

"You're protecting your citizens from a cancer they could get, it's just like any other drug or alcohol," Jason Crouse of Lincoln said.

Even though she tans, Haley Johnson-Jones agrees.

"I don't think kids should be able to tan at 16 years old because I don't think they're an adult at that age," Johnson-Jones said.

The bill has been met with plenty of resistance in the legislature, and has already been amended a few times. The original bill set the age restriction at 18.

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