"Once someone gets to a tanning salon, their decision to purchase a tan is already made," Mayer said. And although some states have parental consent laws, she believes many parents are providing their consent. What's more, "most tanning salons allow and even encourage customers, including teens, to indoor tan every day," she added.
"Our data and data of other researchers lead me to conclude that the only thing that will really work to protect teens from this carcinogen is to ban indoor tanning of minors," she said.
In November 2009, the Board of Health in Howard County, Maryland, became the first county in the nation to enact such a ban. No one under 18 years old may use tanning devices in the county unless they have a prescription from a physician indicating the nature of the medical condition requiring treatment, the number of visits allowed and the time of exposure for each visit. Tanning facilities must also check photo ID to ensure that a customer is not a minor.
The FDA has more on the risks of indoor tanning.
SOURCE: Darrell. S. Rigel, M.D., F.A.A.D., clinical professor, dermatology, NYU Langone Medical Center, New York City; William Ting, M.D., F.A.A.D., private practice dermatologist, Advanced Dermatology Care, San Ramon, Calif.; David M. Pariser, M.D., F.A.A.D., president, American Academy of Dermatology Association, Schaumburg, Ill.; John Overstreet, executive director, Indoor Tanning Association, Washington, D.C.; Joni A. Mayer, Ph.D., professor, public health, San Diego State University, San Diego, Calif.; August 2009, The Lancet Oncology; Federal Register; Jan. 25, 2010, news release, Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); September 2009, Archives of Dermatology
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