ASDSA Applauds Oregon Governor for Signing Under-18 Indoor Tanning Restrictions

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Governor's signature makes Oregon the third state in the U.S. to prohibit minors from using indoor tanning facilities. Similar bills have been passed in Illinois and Texas, where they await governors’ signatures.

American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association applauds Gov. Kitzhaber for signing HB 2896, and we urge the governors of Texas and Illinois to sign the legislation in their states as well.

The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association applauds Oregon Gov. John A. Kitzhaber (D) for signing a bill (HB 2896) that will strengthen existing state law by banning minors from tanning indoors.

With Gov. Kitzhaber’s May 16 signature, Oregon becomes the third state in the nation to enact an under-18 tanning ban. California and Vermont enacted similar indoor tanning bans for minors in 2012. Under-18 bills in Texas and Illinois are awaiting the signatures of their respective governors. 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 applauds Gov. Kitzhaber for signing HB 2896, and we urge the governors of Texas and Illinois to sign the legislation in their states as well,” said ASDSA President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “The ASDSA is especially interested in seeing stronger indoor tanning laws throughout the United States. Our members have expressed concerns at the alarming increase in younger patients being diagnosed with skin cancer – often times in advanced stages.”

The new under-18 restrictions in HB 2896 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 will 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. People who use a tanning device only once a year increase the 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.”

HB 2896 – sponsored by State Representative Peter Buckley (D) – passed out of the Oregon House on March 7 . The state Senate amended the bill, making it an under-17 ban, and passed it back to the House on April 22, where the amendments were rejected. A conference committee preserved the under-18 ban, and the bill was sent to Gov. Kitzhaber on May 15.

In Texas, SB 329, which was sent to Gov. Rick Perry (R) on May 16, would increase the minimum age to tan from 16 years and 6 months to 18. Current state law prohibits teens under 16 years and 6 months from tanning, and requires teens to obtain parental consent if between the ages of 16 years and 6 months and 18. Gov. Perry has until June 16 to sign SB 329 before it becomes law without his signature.

In Illinois, HB 188, which was sent to Gov. Pat Quinn (D) May 20, would ban minors from tanning indoors. Illinois currently prohibits minors under the age of 14 from using indoor tanning devices and requires teens ages 14-17 to obtain in-person parental consent for each tanning session. HB 188 passed the House March 21 and passed the Senate May 20. Concurrent legislation was filed by Senate Minority Leader Catherine Radogno (R) on Feb. 15, and was later amended to incorporate the language contained by HB 188.

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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