FRANKFORT, Ky. (March 20, 2014) — Legislation to ban minors from using tanning beds fell two votes short of passing the Senate Health and Welfare Committee on Wednesday. The bill, which passed the House 61-31, would have prohibited anyone under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. Kentucky prohibits all minors under 14 from using tanning beds, and requires parental permission for those ages 14 to 17.
Sen. Jimmy Higdon, R-Lebanon, told Stu Johnson of WEKU-FM, “I just can’t get to the point where I ban juniors and seniors in high school from using a tanning bed. I think they’re of age to be responsible enough to understand the consequences.”
Sen. Joe Bowen, R-Owensboro, said he didn’t “support the bill because it is an example of the government telling people how to live their lives,” The Associated Press reports. “He noted his wife had skin cancer in her 20s that was not caused by a tanning bed.”
Seventeen states and Washington D.C. have laws banning minors from using tanning beds, and 33 states and Washington, D.C., regulate the use of tanning beds by minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. California, Illinois, Nevada, Texas, Vermont and Oregon ban tanning bed use for all minors, with exceptions made in some cases for medical use. (Read more)
Kentucky Health News is an independent news service of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, based in the School of Journalism and Telecommunications at the University of Kentucky, with support from the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky.