WASHINGTON, D.C. (June 17, 2013) —Texas has joined California, Vermont, Oregon, and Nevada by passing legislation that prohibits minors under the age of 18 from indoor tanning. This announcement comes shortly after the U.S. Food and Drug Administration proposed stricter regulations on indoor tanning beds, as well as a strong recommendation against the use of tanning beds by minors under the age of 18.
“The American Academy of Dermatology Association is proud to have supported this legislation and commends the state of Texas for joining the fight against skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer,” said board-certified dermatologist Dirk M. Elston, MD, FAAD, president of the American Academy of Dermatology Association. “Melanoma incidence rates have been increasing for the last 30 years, with the most rapid increases occurring among young, white women, the most common users of indoor tanning beds. Prohibiting minors’ access to indoor tanning stops this behavior before it can become a habit that continues into adulthood.”
Legislation prohibiting the use of indoor tanning beds by minors under 18 passed both the Texas Senate and House in May. Gov. Rick Perry did not sign or veto the bill within the 20-day period. Therefore, the bill automatically became law. The ban will go into effect on Sept. 1, 2013.
Support for the ban was provided by the American Academy of Dermatology Association, the Texas Dermatological Society, the Texas Pediatric Society, AIM at Melanoma, the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, the Dermatology Nurses Association, and the Joanna M. Nicolay Melanoma Foundation.
More than 3.5 million skin cancers in more than 2 million people are diagnosed annually. It is estimated that one in five Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime and more than 3,930 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in Texas in 2013. The risk of developing melanoma increases by 75 percent for individuals who have been exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning, and the risk increases with each use. Since 2.3 million teens tan indoors in the United States annually, restricting teens’ access to indoor tanning is critical to preventing skin cancer.
In an effort to increase the public’s understanding of skin cancer and motivate people to change their behavior to prevent and detect skin cancer, the Academy launched the SPOT Skin Cancer™ public awareness initiative. Visit the SPOT Skin Cancer™ website — www.SpotSkinCancer.org — to learn how to perform a skin self-exam, download a body mole map for tracking changes on your skin, and find free skin cancer screenings in your area. Those affected by skin cancer also can share their story via the website and download free materials to educate others in their community.