Nevada becomes fourth state to ban indoor tanning for minors

Just one session in a tanning bed ups the risk of melanoma by 20 percent. Credit: Getty Images
Just one session in a tanning bed ups the risk of melanoma by 20 percent. Credit: Getty Images

Nevada has joined Vermont, California and Oregon by passing legislation that prohibits minors under the age of 18 from indoor tanning.

Gov. Brian Sandoval signed the bill into law just days after it passed in the Nevada Assembly, and merely weeks after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) proposed stricter regulations on indoor tanning beds. The Nevada ban will go into effect on July 1, 2013.

“The American Academy of Dermatology Association commends Nevada for being a leader in the fight against melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and non-melanoma skin cancers,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association (AADA). “The science is clear. The risk for developing melanoma increases by 75 percent in individuals who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning devices, and the risks increase with each subsequent use. Since 2.3 million teens tan indoors in the United States annually, restricting teens’ access to indoor tanning is critical to preventing skin cancer.”

More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and 440 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Nevada in 2013. According to the National Cancer Institute, the estimated total direct cost associated with the treatment of melanoma in 2010 was $2.36 billion in the United States.

This bill was sponsored by Nevada Sen. Joyce Woodhouse and supported by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association, AIM at Melanoma, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Dermatology Nurses Association and the Society of Dermatology Physician Assistants.

Legislation prohibiting minors under the age of 18 is being considered by the governors of Illinois and Texas. In Connecticut, the governor will consider an under-17 indoor tanning ban. The AADA will continue to work with state legislatures and the FDA to strengthen regulations on indoor tanning devices and prohibit minors under the age of 18 from using these devices.


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