Ban teens under 18 from tanning beds? Oregon bill advances

Ban teens under 18 from tanning beds? Oregon bill advances

EUGENE, Ore. - Christina Pelton says most of her clients at Color of Beauty Tanning are over 18, but they don't have to be 18 to get a tan there. They just need parental consent.

"We'll have the person who's under 18 sign right here and then their parents signature right here," she said.

A House committee on Health Care voted unanimously Wednesday in support of House Bill 2896. The legilsation that would bar anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.

The bill still has to pass the full House and Senate before the governor could sign it into law.

So how young do some teens really start tanning?

"I have friends who've been tanning since they were like 14," said Colleen Curry, 19. "Really young, like middle school almost."

Colleen said she waited until she was 18 to go tanning. When she was younger, she cautioned her friends against it. "I've said stuff to them like, you know that's not really good for you and they're like, well we're going to die anyways, so might as well die tan."

Lane County Senior Public Health Officer Patrick Luedtke said people under the age of 30 who tan have a 75 percent higher risk of getting skin cancer.
  
The statistic hits home with him.
    
"My sister had skin cancer at age 17," Luedtke said. "She was a sun worshipper."

It hits home with Colleen, too. One of her friends has also had skin cancer. "She just had some removed actually which was scary. She's 21."

Luedtke said he tells teens to stop tanning all the time - but just like smoking, he said, they don't stop.