Faculty: Jonathan Zager, MD, FACS
Release Date: 12/31/2014
The DNA Health Policy & Advocacy Committee (HPAC) has been very active so far in 2013 and progress is being made. We are strengthening our collaborations and our expertise is increasingly sought by other advocacy groups because we have dedicated volunteers that ACT!
Oregon became the 3rd state to protect its children from the high intensity UV radiation of tanning beds. California was the first state in 2011 and Vermont the second in 2012.
DNA believes that no one should use tanning beds, but we are especially concerned about the use in children. See our position statement at www.dnanurse.org/indoor-tanning.
HPAC, along with Aim at Melanoma and the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, has been active in several states to support of tanning restriction for those under 18 years of age. We have sent letters to Legislators and Governors, as well as action alerts to the state’s DNA members with letter templates and information on how to contact their Legislators. Childhood is not the time to expose the rapidly dividing and growing skin cells to ultraviolet radiation at levels that can be 10-15 times that of natural sunlight. A study by Lazovich showed that that risk of melanoma was increased in those who reported ever having used a tanning bed and the odds increased dramatically with increased hours of tanning bed use (Lasovich and Forster, 2004).
Texas, Illinois and Nevada have all made it to the Governor’s desk.
DNA wants every member to have the opportunity to participate in this important public health initiative. Please contact HPAC co-chairs Katrina Masterson (email@example.com) and Angie Hamilton (firstname.lastname@example.org) for help in becoming an active advocate. Click here for more information on the process.
Oregon HB 2896; prohibits use of a tanning facility by a minor except with a prescription from a licensed physician.
Texas Senate Bill 329; An ACT relating to a prohibition on the use of a tanning facility by a minor.
DNA HPAC action: We sent out 4 Legislative Action Alerts to state DNA members with links and letter templates to make it easy for our members to take part. In some cases, we were given permission to share CapWiz links (an online advocacy platform that does most of the work for grassroots advocates) from our friends at Aim at Melanoma. DNA member Margaret Hirsch served as our state liaison for Texas. In her role, she was able to send an email to her TX DNA contacts from her personal email list one evening at a time when turnaround for an action was too tight. As part of our partnership, Aim at Melanoma even customized a cover letter and letter to Governor Perry for those Texas DNA members who could share them with the public at their place of business. DNA also faxed a letter to Governor Perry, urging him to sign this bill.
Illinois House Bill 188; amendment of the Tanning Facility Permit Act to “a tanning facility may not permit any person less that 18 years of age, regardless of whether the person has the permission of a parent or guardian, to use tanning equipment".
DNA HPAC action: Angie Hamilton, HPAC co-chair, represented DNA with the IL Tanning Advocacy Coalition consisting of American Cancer Society-Cancer Action Network, Skin of Steel, American Society for Dermatological Surgery, AIM at Melanoma, Illinois Dermatological Society, American Academy of Dermatology Association. This group, in addition to communicating and meeting with Legislators, networked with colleagues and friends through social media and other means to get as many people as possible involved in this effort. Angie also represented DNA in Springfield, IL at a Lobby Day. This Lobby day provided free skin cancer screenings and the opportunity to educate IL legislators and their staffs.
We sent out 4 Legislative Action Alerts to state DNA members with links to find their legislators and a letter template to customize and send. On behalf of DNA, Angie emailed and faxed Governor Quinn to urge him to sign the bill.
Nevada Senate Bill 267; Prohibits a minor’s use of tanning beds.
DNA HPAC action: We sent out 3 Legislative Action Alerts to NV DNA members so they could easily contact their Legislators and send a customized letter asking for support. Katrina Masterson, HPAC co-chair, worked with the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network representative for Nevada, who coordinated the activities of like-minded advocacy groups including the AADA, ASDA, and the Society for Dermatology PA’s. This was anticipated to be a tough fight since tanning is big business in Las Vegas. Because of this numerous letters were sent on behalf of DNA; to every member of the Senate Committee on Commerce, Labor and Energy, every Nevada Senator, every member of the Assembly Committee of Commerce and Labor, and every Nevada Assembly member (twice!).
Pertinent DNA strategic goals this activity contributes to:
DNA will be recognized and valued for their knowledge and expertise in dermatology care.
HPAC goals for 2013 (and onward)
A. Promote and advocate for state legislation that limits access to tanning beds by minors.
B. Create and streamline state advocacy network of resources through:
C. Increase member awareness of and engage membership in advocacy through: