Lawmaker: Tanning Beds Are New Big Tobacco

Legislator argues that tanning beds, cigarettes pose same cancer risk

A Carrollton legislator on Tuesday compared his bill, which making it harder for Texas teens to use a tanning bed, to legislation against Big Tobacco.

In testimony in Austin, Rep. Burt Solomons said teenagers aren't allowed to buy cigarettes until after they are 18 because it's a carcinogen.

But Solomons said that's not the case for tanning beds, which he says can expose teens to the same risk for cancer.

The bill would require anyone under 18 years old to get a doctor's note before using a tanning bed and would require a parent be with them in the salon.

Current Texas law requires parent permission slips for children up to 18 and that adults go with their children if they are under 16. Children under 13 can tan if they get permission from a doctor.

But Diane Lucas with Texas-based Palm Beach Tan said parents should decide whether their child can use a tanning bed.

The bill is pending in the House Public Health Committee.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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