Should Teens Be Banned From Tanning Beds?

Rachel Adler

122753 13028966172 Should Teens Be Banned From Tanning Beds?

Although the Guido look is all the rage, and GTL is now an official phrase (and unfortunately showing up on clothes as well), tanning booths and that orange hue is coming under fire as of late. The UK has banned tanning beds for those that are under 18 years of age using a fine of up to $32,000 to enforce it.

This has all come about due to the numerous studies that have discovered that the rate of malignant melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer has tripled in the UK for those under the age of 35 since the seventies, according to ABC News.

In the U.S., many states have laws that help to restrict access for teens in tanning salons, such as the requirement of a parent’s signature if you’re under the age of 16, but many are not strictly enforced. I can’t tell you how many of my friends used to get one of the “cool moms” to sign for them during middle school or high school.

Unfortunately, the truth of the matter is we don’t really understand what we’re doing to our bodies when we’re that young, and just want to have a great tan by the time prom or spring break rolls around.
But in the U.S., Melanoma is the most common form of cancer among the 25-29 year old set which pretty much makes us regret any time spent in the tanning bed during our teen or college years.

So, I’m going to have to side with UK on this one, and agree with the ban. Although it’s a bit harsh to ban (and then fine people) and yes, obviously people have the right to do what they want with their lives and with their health, banning people who are not yet adults and possibly sparing them from a life-threating disease can only hopefully help lessen the amount of skin cancer cases that we see.

What do you think about the tanning ban? Would you like to see something similar here in the U.S.?

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