N.J. advances plan to ban teens from tanning beds

    New Jersey lawmakers are considering a law that would ban anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.

    Current law allows those 14 to 17 to use a tanning bed if they have parental consent.

    Jennifer Neumayer, who owns three Beach Bum Tanning locations in New Jersey, said tanning facilities are already subject to federal regulations. If New Jersey banned teens, it would hurt her business, she said.

    “Small business owners who are already struggling through a tough economy will find it even more difficult to make ends meet,” she said.

    But Dr. Robert Paull with the Dermatological Association of New Jersey says the use of tanning beds has been linked to skin cancer.

    “There are tough times for everybody out there, but you can’t sacrifice the health of young individuals for the economic gain of people in this industry,” he said.

    Joe Schuster of the Indoor Tanning Association said the ban could have unintended consequences.

    “Taking away the options for teens that choose to tan indoors will not stop them from tanning,” he said. “It’ll only send them outdoors into the uncontrolled environment of the sun where they are more likely to be overexposed or sunburned which is exactly what these doctors supporting the bill are saying they’re trying to avoid.”

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