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No Tans For Teens

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Teens should be banned from using indoor tanning beds. That’s according to the latest research from San Diego State University.

— California state law requires anyone under age 18 to get parental consent before using an indoor tanning bed.

But according to the most comprehensive study of it’s kind, the parental consent law does not work.

Joni Mayer, PhD., is a public health professor at San Diego State University. She researched the tanning habits of 6,000 teens from the 100 largest cities in the United States over the last four years.

Mayer said her study confirmed what the American Academy of Pediatrics has been recommending for years -- indoor tanning beds should be banned for anyone under age 18.

“Our research found enforcement was not the problem. Parents gave consent—so the best way to protect those younger than age 18 would be a ban of indoor tanning for all underage users,” said Mayer.

The study also revealed the proximity of an indoor tanning salon to a teen’s home or school was directly linked to how often it was used.

“We found the teens who lived within two miles of a tanning salon were 40 percent more likely to use indoor tanning in the past year than their peers who lived farther away from the salon,” Mayer said.

“This suggests that the number of tanning salons should be regulated or zoned differently, especially if they are near residential areas and schools,” explained Mayer.

Artificial tanning beds use lights that are known to increase the risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer.

Mayer’s study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.

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