There will be less California minors walking around trying to damage their precious hides on purpose after a new law — the first of its kind in the U.S. — goes into effect that prohibits anyone under 18 from using a tanning bed.
The Associated Press reports on the the bill signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown, which will take effect January 1, 2012. Other states have banned the beds for children under 16, but this is the highest age limit yet. Currently in California, home of that “tan is attractive all year-round” mindset for many, kids under 14 can’t use the beds and those 15 to 17 need parental permission.
The Indoor Tanning Association says it’ll hurt business, as 5-10 percent of its members’ customers are under 18.
But as using tanning beds can lead to skin damage like melanoma, and early tanning can up that risk, it seems like a good move to prevent cancer later.
“Girls in affluent California communities especially are surrounded by the message that being tanned all year round is cool,” Christina Clarke, of the Cancer Prevention Institute of California, said in a recent statement supporting the bill. “Pop music star Katy Perry is even singing about it.”
Word of wisdom: If Katy Perry is singing about it, maybe don’t do it until you’re legal. Or you know, ever.
California becomes first state to ban children under 18 from using tanning beds [The Washington Post]