California Becomes First State To Ban Teenagers From Tanning Beds (But What Will Courtney Stodden Do?!)

Popular wisdom associates tans with health and wellness and glamour, as opposed to, say, melanoma. No matter how much we learn about the dangers of sun exposure, the importance of sunscreen and how indoor tanning can be a death sentence for some, a lot of people still think tan = beautiful. Teenagers who want a sunny glow without going outside, however, will now have to wait. Reports Reuters:

California is the first state in the nation to ban minors from using tanning beds, legislators said. Previously, California had banned minors under the age of 14 from using tanning beds, but allowed those between 14 and 18 years of age to use tanning beds with parental consent. The bill was part of a cluster of legislation signed on Sunday designed to “improve the health and well-being of Calfornians,” according to a statement from the Governor’s office.

Some people out there may be furious with a perceived “nanny state” but just as many will disagree and view “banning impressionable minors from baking in ultraviolet-emitting radiation” as progress. After all, the link between indoor tanning and cancer isn’t subtle: people who use tanning beds are almost 75% percent more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors. Yikes.

Do you see the California anti-tan legislation as a step in the right direction?

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We hope that Courtney Stodden is recording an extremely alliterative song about injustice right now.

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    • Haley

      I’m happy to see this. I’m 26 with a 60-year-old mother who looks 40. I have 26-year-old girlfriends who also look 40. I’m grateful I was taught the importance of sunscreen, and – while I of course strayed as a teenager a bit – am happy to have found beauty in ivory-toned role models (mostly my mom) and am extremely comfortable with my paleness. Sadly – I’m expecting the day when a very good friend (Scandanavian descent, worked at a tanning salon, tans EVERY day, constantly having moles removed, etc.) calls me to tell me she has cancer. Well done California – hopefully, if these girls can find beauty with the natural shade of their skin at an impressionable age, they will continue to be so when they reach 18.

    • EBMMommy

      Indoor tanning in teens and young adults is associated with a 75% increase in melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer. It’s about time it’s outlawed in minors. The tanning industry is where the tobacco companies were 20 years ago. Read about the similarities on my blog,

    • tanners rights

      This law is totally insane! Will the next be police patrolling the beaches and check that everyone are covered up with sun-screen?

      Moderate, regular and non-burning tanning, in the open sun or in a tanning bed, is probably the single best thing you can do for your health.

      Yesterday’s decision by Gov. Brown was a big win for the sun-scare lobby (bank-rolled by the large manufacturers of sun-protection cosmetics) and a huge loss for human rights and health.

      Find out who are behind the sun-scare (and why) here: