Ban on teen tanning heads to governor

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New restrictions on teen tanning are one step from becoming law after legislation passed the Indiana Senate and moved to the governor on Thursday.

Senate Bill 50, authored by Sen. Patricia Miller, R-Indianapolis, bans youth under the age of 16 from tanning at commercial tanning facilities. The bill also requires anyone between the ages of 16 and 18 to provide parental permission before being allowed to tan at professional facilities.

“I think it’s very important because so many physicians, dermatologists and others are concerned about the amount of skin cancer being caused by exposure to tanning beds,” said Miller. “And this is particularly true in our younger population.”

Miller said that those who tan and are under age 30 are more likely to end up with melanoma, a malignant form of skin cancer.

“The intent is to try to reduce the number of young people who are now going to be exposed to cancer,” she said.

The bill passed the Senate earlier this year in a similar form but it also included a study committee on the issue. The House stripped out the study and on Thursday, the Senate voted to accept that change.

Miller attributed her support for the bill to testimonies heard over the summer given by those who have been personally affected by tanning-related cancer.

“We had this summer some young people come and testify – particularly a young woman who came who had had melanoma, and she told of her experience and sort of the devastating affect it had on her to get this diagnosis and the kind of procedure she had to go through,” Miller said. “And she was encouraging other young people, ‘Please don’t tan.’”

The bill passed 26-12.


  • Tanning instead of Jobs
    I am so glad the Indiana State Legislature is spending its time tackling the vitally important issue of teen tanning. Now that such an important issue has been addressed, maybe they can focus on the minor things, such as jobs, economic development, infrastructure improvements and education.
  • Tanning
    I like how the provision only applies to commercial tanning facilities that can be monitored while personal tanning beds are not. As someone who had severe acne, the tanning bed under doctor supervision reduced the amount of scaring and soreness without having to take more harmful drugs like acutane. That being said, there should have been an exemption for tanning (under 16) if prescibed by a doctor to treat acne, vitamin D defieciencies, etc. Simply to ban it for commercial businesses but not for private residences is a shame. The rich can tan but the poor with severe acne could not even when a doctor recommends it under this law.
  • Tanning is no different than smoking
    Tanning is not healthy as the tanning bed owners would advertise. It is destroying and mutating skin cells and long term produces skin cancer and accelerates aging. Tax it heavily and restrict it to over 21

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