Bill Cracking Down on Teen Tanning Clears House

The Texas House has approved raising to 18 the minimum age for using a tanning facility.

The bill by Houston Republican Sen. Joan Huffman cleared the Senate last month. The lower chamber used a voice vote Monday to pass it.

The measure must clear a final, procedural House vote before heading to Gov. Rick Perry.

The current minimum age is 16 1/2 with parental permission. Supports say it should be raised to help reduce skin cancer.

A bill analysis reports that there are about 70,000 new cases of invasive melanoma annually, and the disease is one of main causes of cancer deaths in women between 25 and 30.

The bill is supported by doctors but opposed by the tanning industry and conservatives who call it an erosion of "parental rights."

North Dallas Tan already prohibits anyone younger than 18 from using a tanning bed.

"We need adults to come in here," Ashley Haun said. "They need to have the decision if, 'Hey, I happen to get skin cancer; that's my decision at that point' because it can cause that. We don't say it does, but it can just like standing outside for too long so, yeah, there's a lot of reasons why we just don't we don't allow it. We don't approve of it."

Perry's office said it would review the bill and make a decision once it gets to his desk.

NBC 5's Kevin Cokely contributed to this report.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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