ASDSA Urges Oregon Governor to Sign Under-18 Indoor Tanning Restrictions

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Governor's signature would make Oregon the third state in the U.S. prohibiting minors under 18 from using indoor tanning facilities.

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association
Preventing and treating skin cancer is vital to the public health. As dermatologic surgeons, we must educate our patients, particularly teenagers, about the risks associated with indoor tanning.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association urges Oregon Gov. John A. Kitzhaber, M.D., (D) to sign a bill (HB 2896) that would strengthen existing state law by prohibiting minors under the age of 18 from tanning indoors.

With Gov. Kitzhaber’s signature, Oregon would become the third state in the nation to enact an under-18 tanning ban. California and Vermont already have enacted similar indoor tanning bans for minors. Nationwide, 34 states and the District of Columbia have enacted some level of youth access prohibitions to indoor tanning devices.

“The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association urges Gov. Kitzhaber to sign HB 2896,” said ASDSA President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “The ASDSA supports legislation or government action that helps prevent skin cancer. With melanoma rates rising, particularly for young women, prohibiting youth access to indoor tanning facilities can only help decrease the instances of skin cancer.”

The new under-18 restrictions in HB 2896 would take effect Jan. 1, 2014. Current Oregon law allows a minor to tan only if permission is granted by a parent or guardian in person. Oregon tanning facilities violating the under-18 ban would face penalties up to $500 per offense.

HB 2896 will help to significantly reduce a minor’s exposure to artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation – a leading cause of skin cancer, Flynn said. Using a tanning device only once a year increases a user’s risk of developing melanoma by 20 percent, while people who regularly use indoor tanning devices have a 74 percent higher risk of developing melanoma.

“Preventing and treating skin cancer is vital to the public health,” Flynn said. “As dermatologic surgeons, we must educate our patients, particularly teenagers, about the risks associated with indoor tanning.”

The bill – sponsored by Rep. Peter Buckley (D) – passed out of the House on March 7 and out of the Senate with amendments making it an under-17 ban on April 22. The House, however, rejected the Senate amendments. The bill went to conference committee, which recommended that the under-18 ban be retained. The Senate complied, passing the bill May 9.

About the ASDSA
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) is the largest specialty organization exclusively representing dermatologic surgeons who have unique training and experience to treat the health, function and beauty of your skin. Dermatologic surgeons are experts in skin cancer prevention, detection and treatment. As the incidence of skin cancer rises, dermatologic surgeons are committed to taking steps to minimize the life-threatening effects of this disease. For more information, visit http://asdsa.asds.net.

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