On Aug. 22 Governor Pat Quinn passed a law banning the use of tanning beds by persons under the age of 18. In effect January 1 of 2014, this new regulation has stirred much controversy among the teenage community.
In the past, teens ages 14 to 17 were allowed to use tanning beds with the consent of a parent or guardian, but when in effect, this new rule will make it so that teens are unable to be exposed to the ultraviolet light produced by indoor tanning beds. “I think the government wants the youth to enjoy happier, healthier lives. Many young people do not know about the health concerns, so it is better that the government is intervening,” said junior Bri Heerhold.
Although spray-on tans and lotions will remain legal and widely available, many teens are still unhappy. “I don’t think this is fair, and I believe parental consent should be utilized. I know a lot of girls will be upset that we can’t tan in the winter and for dances now,” said junior and employee of Sun Devil Tanning Salon, Jordan Frederick.
The major health concern brought about by these indoor tanning beds is the increased risk of skin cancer. “I think this will just help to protect younger generations and will have an overall positive outcome,” junior Jack Szott said. According to the Skin Cancer Foundation, people under the age of 35 have a 75 percent greater risk of getting skin cancer than those who refrain from tanning completely.
Co-written by Gabbie Ramos and Emily Rodriguez