Melanoma Legislation

Every year in the U.S. nearly 30 million people tan indoors. Of these, 2.3 million are teens. Melanoma rates among young women have soared 50% since the 1980’s, a trend that has paralleled a rise in the use of tanning devices.

The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), and the American Academy of Dermatologists (AAD) have all called for a ban on ALL indoor tanning by minors. The United States Food and Drug Administration also recommends that no one under the age of 18 use these devices.

AIM at Melanoma, realizing the importance of this issue, spearheaded this effect by getting legislation introduced throughout the country. Many of these states have since passed laws enacting stricter controls over a minor’s access to indoor tanning devices, such as in TX, NV, NY, IL, and DE. AIM led the effort in California, making it the first state to prohibit minors under the age of 18 from commercial tanning devices.

Presently, there are only 19 states, and the District of Columbia, that have passed laws that completely bans the use of commercial tanning devices for minors under 18 years of age: California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Vermont, Minnesota, Louisiana, Hawaii, Delaware, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Kansas, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, New York, Maryland, and Maine. Washington and Oregon passed laws prohibiting minors under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices, but allows for an exception when its use is prescribed by a physician. There are another 27 states in the U.S. that have restrictions on a minor’s use of indoor tanning parlors but typically all that is required is a signed permission slip from a parent or guardian.

This is an ongoing effort. AIM has created a chart so that you can see what legislation presently exists and follow new legislation as it gets introduced. Click here to view the chart.

At the same time, AIM has also led the effort to mandate K-12 sun safety education and provided worker’s compensation for lifeguards. AIM is also working to pass legislation which would ensure that cancer patients have equal and appropriate access to all cancer treatments.

As a citizen and a constituent, you are in a powerful position to influence policymakers. The AIM at Melanoma Foundation needs your help! Help us educate and influence legislators on the dangers of indoor tanning. AIM’s Public Policy Committee is calling for volunteers to act as legislative advocates at the local grassroots level. The primary duty of these volunteers is to write or visit the local offices of our state and municipal representatives in order to urge them to support a ban on indoor tanning under the age of 18.

We welcome your support, and ask you to contact us if you would like to help in the effort to ban indoor tanning by minors.

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