Rolling Meadows, Ill. (PRWEB) April 03, 2013
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association applauds New Jersey policymakers for approving a bill that goes into effect Oct. 1 prohibiting minors under 17 years of age from seeking indoor tanning services without parental or guardian in-person consent on a first visit to a tanning salon.
“The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association thanks New Jersey for its efforts to fight not only melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, but non-melanoma skin cancers as well,” said ASDSA President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “The ASDSA supports any law or government action that helps prevent skin cancer. Melanoma rates have been steadily increasing over the past three decades, particularly for young women, the primary users of indoor tanning facilities. Prohibiting access to indoor tanning to young people can only help decrease the instances of skin cancer.”
The bill strengthens New Jersey’s existing tanning restrictions for minors. The state currently prohibits minors under the age of 14 from using indoor tanning salons and requires teens ages 14 to 17 to obtain written parental consent.
The new legislation (A 2142/S 1172), signed into law April 1, also requires that the parent must remain in the facility during the first visit and includes penalties for violations. A facility that allows a prohibited minor to use its tanning equipment can be fined $1,000 for the first offense and $2,000 for a second offense. Any further violations not only would result in additional $2,000 fines but also would require the facility to be closed for five days per violation.
“I sign[ed] this bill because of the documented and well-understood risks associated with misuse of indoor tanning systems," New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie said April 1. "According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the overuse of indoor tanning has been associated with an increased risk for skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States."
To date, 33 states and the District of Columbia have enacted indoor tanning restrictions prohibiting minors from using indoor tanning devices. Those restrictions ban minors under a certain age from tanning and/or require parental consent in-person or by a signed document. Of the 17 states with no youth access laws, 14 have introduced related legislation in 2013.
“The prevention and treatment of skin cancer is vital to the public’s health,” Flynn said. “As dermatologic surgeons, we must continue educating our patients, particularly teenagers, about the risks associated with indoor tanning.”
The bill – sponsored by Assemblyman Ralph R. Caputo, Gordon M. Johnson, Louis D. Greenwald, Herb Conaway, Jr. and Pamela R. Lampitt – initially was introduced in the New Jersey Assembly in 2012 as an under-18 ban. After passing out of the Assembly, the bill was amended in the Senate in late November 2012 to its current language.
The ASDSA has been working with the Dermatological Society of New Jersey and the American Association of Dermatology on the bill since its introduction last year.
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 asdsa.asds.net.