Arizona Passes SUNucate, Protecting Kids from Developing Skin Cancer

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Sun-safe model legislation developed by the ADDSS and ASDSA has been signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

Instilling the notion of sun-safe behavior in our youth is a key step in reducing the risk of skin cancer.

Model legislation developed by the Arizona Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society (ADDSS) and the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association (ASDSA) to ensure that students are protected from the dangers of the sun while at school and camp has recently been signed into law by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey.

The legislation, deemed SUNucate, was introduced by Representative Heather Carter and is designed to eliminate barriers that prohibit students from possessing and using over-the-counter sunscreen in schools and camps by exempting these products from requirements implemented by broad reaching ‘medication bans,’ such as the need for a physician’s note or prescription.

“Instilling the notion of sun-safe behavior in our youth is a key step in reducing the risk of skin cancer,” said ASDSA President Thomas E. Rohrer, MD. “As dermatologic surgeons and concerned citizens, we must work to educate the population about the risks of excessive sun exposure and how to mitigate them.”

The need arose after multiple concerns were raised by dermatologists and reports in the national media about students being required to bring a note or prescription from a physician in order to possess or use sunscreen, which is classified as an over-the-counter drug by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the United States Preventive Services Task Force both believe that children should have access to sunscreen and other sun-protective measures in order to reduce the risk of skin cancer.

“The state of Arizona has made a big step in the right direction by increasing access to sunscreens in schools and camps. The work in Arizona and other states would not be possible without the Surgeon General’s call to action to prevent skin cancer, the support of the national organizations like ASDSA, and the local support of individuals and organizations like Rep. Heather Carter and the Mayo Clinic,” said ADDSS President Aaron Mangold, MD.

The ADDSS and ASDSA has worked with multiple health care and medical organizations, patient groups and industry partners – such as the American Medical Association, members of the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention and the Personal Care Products Council – to show state legislators the need for this measure which will protect children attending schools and youth camps. Encouraging states to allow for the regular and routine use of sunscreen at schools without a prescription is key to reducing skin cancer in the United States. To find more information on SUNucate visit asdsa.asds.net/SUNucate.

About the ADDSS
The Arizona Dermatology and Dermatologic Surgery Society, a 501(c)(6) society, encourages the advancement of dermatology and dermatological surgery in Arizona. ADDSS promotes high ethical standards and participates in activities that further the welfare of dermatology and patients. For more information, visit http://addss.org.

About the ASDSA
With a membership of over 6,100 physicians, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, a 501(c)(6) association, speaks in a unified voice to promote, protect and advance the safety of surgical dermatology patients. ASDSA advocates for access to quality care, skin cancer prevention and education, fair and appropriate regulation and patient safety. For more information, visit http://asdsa.asds.net or email at advocacy(at)asds(dot)net.

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