More Age Restrictions Could Be Coming to Indiana Tanning Salons

Published 02/16 2014 10:22PM

Updated 02/16 2014 10:32PM

If you want to look like you've been lying on a beach in Bermuda, but really you live in Evansville during a brutal winter, a tanning salon is an option. But if you're younger than 16 years old it may not be an option for much longer. "There's plenty of evidence that shows that tanning is a great cause of melanoma and skin cancers. We have lots of testimony in that respect so we need to protect our young people as much and as long as we can." Representative Ron Bacon is on the committee that will be discussing a new tanning bill in Indiana's General Assembly this week. If passed the bill would not allow anyone under 16 to tan at a salon even with parental permission.
"I don't see it affecting us much because our what I call underage tanners anyone under 18 actually represents less than 3% of my customer base." Brent counts has been in the tanning industry for 11 years. He says the new bill wouldn't hurt his business. Instead expand it with spray tanning. "The underage tanners are 3% of our UV tanning, but they make up 28% of UV free spray on tanning."
Representative Bacon says the bill also addresses the problem of teens forging permission to tan from unknowing parents. The bill would require 16 and 17 year old's to have a permitting parents sign a consent form in the salon. Some salons say they already require this and even take it a step further. "It's not one of these where mom or dad can drop them off run down to the store or something like that and come back and get them. They actually have to stay in the store with them while they tan," said Counts.
Counts says the bill should be welcomed by the tanning industry. However his only concern is that young tanners will not be properly educated about tanning beds if they choose to tan on their own.
Representative Bacon says he expects the bill to pass the House Public Health Committee on Wednesday without too much trouble.

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