Faculty: Jonathan Zager, MD, FACS
Release Date: 12/31/2014
Summary - This bill prohibits tanning facilities and operators from allowing individuals who have not attained 18 years of age to use tanning devices.
On April 2nd the Maine House voted in favor of this bill, 91 to 56.
On April 3rd the Maine Senate voted in favor of this bill, 19 to 16.
On April 4th DNA sent out a Legislative Action Alert to Maine members urging them to send letters to Governor LePage to support this bill.
On April 4th Governor Paul LePage vetoed the bill.
On April 9th the veto was sustained.
So for this legislative session, the move to protect Maine’s children from tanning beds has failed. At a public hearing held on February 27th, there were 24 groups that submitted testimony on behalf of the bill. If you’d like to read some of the testimony go here: http://www.mainelegislature.org/legis/bills/display_ps.asp?LD=272&snum=126#
This testimony convinced the majority of Legislators on Maine that this was an important step to take to protect Maine’s children. Governor LePage disagreed and let the state know via twitter of his intention to veto the bill. His statements included:
"Maine parents can make the right decisions for their families,"
"This is government run amok. Maine parents can make the right decisions for their families"
In Maine, the law currently requires parents to provide permission for a minor who's at least 14 to use tanning machines, and LePage said that should be good enough.
As we all know, not all parents know of the dangers of indoor tanning for their children. It wasn’t until 2010 that the tanning industry was prohibited, by the Federal trade Commission, from saying that tanning was “safer than sunlight because of government regulation” and “didn’t pose a risks for skin cancer”.
So the battle continues...