Bill could mean lights out for teens and tanning - News, Weather & Sports

Bill could mean lights out for teens and tanning

State Rep. Tim Moore (R-District 26/Elizabethtown) State Rep. Tim Moore (R-District 26/Elizabethtown)
Dr. James Wharton Dr. James Wharton

FRANKFORT, KY (WAVE) - It would be lights out for teenagers in tanning beds under a bill approved Thursday by a Kentucky House committee.

The House Health and Welfare panel's vote would prohibit people under the age of 18 to use tanning beds. It passed despite concerns that the state wouldn't be able to enforce the ban, while others said it limited person freedoms.

[RELATED STORY: Indiana tanning ban for children under 16 passes]

Doctors testified that teenagers are putting themselves at a higher risk for skin cancer, and many don't realize its long-term impacts.

"We are in the middle of a skin cancer epidemic," said Dr. James Wharton, a Louisville dermatologist, "and we have an opportunity to do something about it.

Opponents of the bill said parents and teens should be able to decide for themselves.

"I don't think we should do an end-around and prohibit it for all young people under age 18, which does exceed other states," said Rep. Tim Moore, R-Elizabethtown.

Five states have banned the use of tanning beds by minors, and others have restricted teenagers from tanning. Kentucky requires a parent to accompany a child under the age of 14 to a tanning salon, and requires people ages 14 to 17 to use eye protection.

The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.

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