NJ Approves Tanning Ban

NJ Approves Tanning Ban

The New Jersey General Assembly passed the final version of their Bill to limit tanning by teens on February 14, 2013. The bill amends state statute and will not allow children under the age of 17 to tan and those who are 17 will need in person parental consent.

We at DNA support and encourage an outright restriction that would not allow any children to tan. This is yet another state that is talking about tanning. Legislators are learning from advocates, like us, that tanning is not a safe activity. The tanning industry is no longer able to call the use of tanning beds safe, but as recently as 2010, this was not the case. We at DNA had a letter to the editor of the Trenton Times published on February 12, 2013. The full letter can be found here.

The final version of the bill can be found here. Penalties for infractions include:

  • $1,000 for the first offense
  • $2,000 for the second offense
  • $2,000 and a five-day suspension of the facility’s registration and operation for a third and subsequent offense.

It is interesting to note the differences in media coverage for this.

From this NJ.com Blog post we have the following quotes:

When first introduced, the measure called for barring the use of tanning salons by anyone under 18, but legislators amended the measure to allow those 15 and older to use the facilities after salon owners said such a stringent law could put them out of business.

State Sen. Loretta Weinberg (D-Bergen), a prime sponsor of the measure, said today she thought 17 was the appropriate age.

“I’m basing it on the medical input I’ve gotten from the Cancer Society, from the Dermatology Association, from people who are in the know about the uptick they have seen in skin cancers of very young people,” Weinberg said. “They believe that tanning beds, and particularly the repetition — using them three or four times a week — is a cause” of cancer.

James Oliver, the chief executive of Beach Bum Tanning, which has 19 locations in New Jersey, said he was disappointed his industry couldn’t reach a compromise with lawmakers. He believes parental consent, rather than an outright ban, is the way to protect teenagers.

“We feel that these under 17-year-olds will go to the beach, where it’s unsupervised,” or tan in a friend’s basement or at a gym, Oliver said. “At least we have people who are trained.”

From this NorthJersey.com post we have these quotes:

Assemblywoman Marlene Caride (D-Ridgefield). Voting against the amendment to the law. “I appreciate the good intentions of the bills’ sponsors; however, I had concerns about interfering with a parent’s right to decide what’s best for their child, particularly in the case of children as old as 16, as well as the impact this will have on small business owners,”

Gary Schaer (D-Passaic) voted in favor of the new restrictions. “Skin cancer at this point is a cancer that effects most people in this county, and from a medical perspective, it’s exacerbated and caused by a large extent to exposure from the sun,” “The earlier that one uses tanning salons and spends countless hours in the sun, the more one is prone to develop skin cancer. We are a culture that loves the sun.” Schaer said he is sensitive to government overstepping its reach into private lives, but believes the bill will help guide youngsters. Adults are capable of making their own decisions, he added.

Anthony Ruccatano owns two City Tropics salons. Ruccatano anticipated that the new rules wouldn’t largely impact his business, but was disappointed by news of the tanning industry being targeted again. The industry is small and doesn’t have the influence on politicians others do, he said, recalling how last year the same government body voted to phase out a tax on Botox and other cosmetic procedures.