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April 18, 2015

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Legislature 2013:

Bill aims to restrict teenage use of tanning beds in Nevada


Steve Marcus / Las Vegas Sun

Alicia Jaeger lies in a filter glass tanning bed at a BodyHeat tanning salon in Henderson, Jan. 16, 2009.

Nevada teens — now prohibited from smoking and drinking — may face new obstacles when going to tanning salons for that “healthy look” if new legislation gains steam.

Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Las Vegas, called her bill the “first step” to protecting those under 18 years old from cancer.

“They want that healthy look and it’s not healthy,” says Woodhouse, who got strong support for Senate Bill 257.

The bill would require those teens to get permission from parents, who would have to be present at the first session. Businesses could face sanctions if they ignored the proposed law.

Tom McCoy of the American Cancer Society urged the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy to go a step further and bar teens altogether.

“The risks do not go away with the permission of the parents,” McCoy said at the hearing Wednesday. He said Texas has a similar law and there was only an 11 percent compliance rate in getting parental consent.

Sen. Joseph Hardy, a physician, questioned how much a tanning session costs. No one could come up with an answer and that prompted the Boulder City Republican to quip, “Anybody who can afford a tanning may be getting too much of an allowance.”

Woodhouse's sister died from cancer, and her husband has battled the disease.

Former state Sen. Allison Copening of Las Vegas urged passage, saying it “would protect the children at no expense” to the tanning businesses.

The bill provides a penalty of $2,000 for the first offense if the owner does not get the permission of parents and $4,000 for each subsequent offense.

Tanning operators would be required to post warning signs for customers to avoid too frequent or too lengthy exposure.

The operator would also be required to advise patrons to wear protective eyewear and warn that some “medications and cosmetics may increase your sensitivity to ultraviolet radiation.”

Woodhouse said she would work with those who questioned the penalties and who want teens banned altogether. The committee will continue to deliberate the bill.

Medical officials said similar bills have been introduced in at least three previous sessions and were never passed.

Note: This story has been revised to correct information about Woodhouse's husband.

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  1. Will the legislature also consider bills intended to regulate teen exposure to the sun?

  2. Tanning salons already have to get parental permission for tanning and the fine structure in already in place. In my salon, I do not promote minors to tan. They need to get outside and get some sun in my opinion, but if the parent wants them to tan they abide by my stricter rules then the state. If the parent wants them to tan in my salon they must be 16 not the standard 14. I want proof that the individual is of proper age to tan with a legal form of ID and it to show the same last name and address of the parent or guardian that is signing for them. We don't even allow anyone under the age of 16 into a UV sunless spray booth and no one under the age of 18 for custom spray tanning. The tanning salon should not be the babysitter for the client that is tanning but the job of the parent to control how often they tan. At the end of the day you might want to look at the parent that wants to bring in there 10 year old to go tanning for a cheer competition or pageants not the tanning salons. And yes, I have a lengthy list of requirements for not over exposing my clients and have and will again kick those clients out.
    Lastly, I am getting tired of states saying that it was the tanning bed that caused that skin cancer. "PROVE IT" and I bet you that it is not possible. The moment that a person walked into the sun they can get it and now sunscreens have been PROVEN to cause skin cancer. But you don't see anyone going after Johnson & Johnson.

    If anyone would like to go into a discussion about this subject you better know your facts because I do.