(PRWEB) May 04, 2013
The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association applauds policymakers in West Virginia for approving a bill (SB 464) prohibiting minors under the age of 14 from seeking indoor tanning services and requiring teens ages 14 to 17 to obtain consent from a parent or guardian prior to using a tanning device.
With the May 1 signature of Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin(D), West Virginia joins Washington, D.C., and 33 states that have enacted legislation restricting youth access to tanning devices. Those restrictions ban minors under a certain age from tanning and/or require parental consent. Of the 16 other states with no youth access laws, 13 have introduced similar legislation in 2013.
The new tanning restrictions in West Virginia take effect July 12. No laws existed in the state to prevent minors of any age from tanning indoors prior to the enactment of SB 464.
“The American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association thanks the elected policymakers in West Virginia for enacting first-of-their-kind indoor tanning restrictions in the state,” said ASDSA President Timothy C. Flynn, M.D. “The ASDSA supports legislation 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 for young people can only help decrease the instances of skin cancer as teens mature into adults.”
Owners of tanning facilities violating the youth tanning restrictions can be charged with a misdemeanor and fined $100 for the first offense, $250 to $500 for the second offense and $500 to $1,000 for each offense thereafter.
The bill – sponsored by Democratic Senators Ron Stollings, Robert D. Beach, Erik Wells, Jeffrey V. Kessler, Jack Yost and John R. Unger II – was introduced in the West Virginia Senate as an under-18 ban and passed the upper chamber with strong bipartisan support. After passing out of the Senate, the bill was amended in the House of Delegates as a concession to secure necessary votes to pass a floor vote. The final bill was passed on April 13, the last day of the 2013 session.
“The prevention and treatment of 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 ASDSA was joined in supporting SB 464 by the West Virginia Chapter of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network and the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA).
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.