Bill would ban younger teens from tanning

BOISE, Idaho- The new bill would ban tanning to teens under 16 and require older teens to get parental permission.

"It has become increasingly clear over the last few year that the use of tanning devices, particularly by children is a significant health hazard," said Idaho Medical Association Lobbyist Ken McClure.

The bill was introduced in the House Health and Welfare Committee Monday morning. But many in the tanning industry say it goes too far.

"I don't think it should be banned. I think a parental guidance should be in place and parents should be able to have the choice," said Modesty Labbe.

Labbe owns Endless Summer Tanning and says tanning can be beneficial, even for kids.

"I've even had a younger kid come with a parent, he had a lot of acne problems and depression and she sat in with him in the room for 5 minutes to get that UVA, UVB and vitamin D," said Labbe.

McClure says, much like tobacco, the state needs to protect youth from tanning.

"The younger a person is when a person begins tanning and the more visits to a tanning parlor that that person has, is highly correlated to incidents of skin cancer, many kinds of which actually kill people," said McClure.

Labbe says bills like this are an attempt to scare people so they will spend more money on cosmetics and sun block. She says tanning is healthy in moderation.

"They want to get the color, they want to go play baseball and go swimming and for us not to allow them to get a good base tan safely before they go outside, it's just setting them up for a sun burn and sun burn is very damaging to the skin," said Labbe.

The bill was approved by the house committee and now will move to the floor for a vote. A similar bill died in the senate last year.