New law bans minors from tanning beds

Teenagers have often used tanning beds to get a sun-kissed look before big events like prom or a vacation. But on August 1, Minnesota teens were forced to rethink their tanning habits.

Gov. Mark Dayton in May signed a bill into law that prohibits minors from using indoor tanning beds, making Minnesota the eighth state to pass such a law.

The research that led to this change in policy was driven by the Masonic Cancer Center’s DeAnn Lazovich, Ph.D., M.P.H. She provided critical testimony during the legislative session about her research that has overwhelmingly linked indoor tanning to melanoma, one of the deadliest forms of skin cancer.

People who tanned indoors were 74 percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who had never tanned indoors, according to Lazovich’s studies. The more times a person tanned indoors, the higher the risk.

The legislation was proposed in 2013 and passed in 2014, a timeline much faster than Lazovich expected.

Prior to the legislation, Minnesota law required all those under 16 to have parental permission to use indoor tanning beds, but salons weren’t always enforcing the rule. Now Lazovich hopes banning indoor tanning for all minors will make it easier to enforce.

“It’s definitely a good start,” she says.

Published on March 24, 2015