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Teen Tanning Bed Ban Could Spur Change In Indiana

Last updated on Friday, June 8, 2012

(INDIANAPOLIS) - A Chicago ban on teenagers in tanning beds could spur a similar movement in Indianapolis.

The Chicago City Council voted Wednesday to make tanning bans off limits to people younger than 18 in a move to better protect children from skin cancer.

In Indiana, minors aren't allowed in tanning salons unless they have parental consent, a code enforced by the Indiana State Board of Cosmetology and Barber's Examiners.

But some doctors maintain it doesn't go far enough, RTV6's Stacia Matthews reported.

"We don't let kids buy cigarettes or any tobacco products as minors, and we shouldn't let them get in tanning beds either," said Dr. Keeter Sechrist with Dermatology Inc.

She said she believes the tanning trend is contributing to the rise in melanoma, which is now the No. 1 cancer among women between the ages of 25 and 29.

Sechrist said the Indiana State Medical Association and dermatologists across the state have advocated for a Chicago-like ban since 2007.

"Now we have more evidence to support it, and I'm hoping that we'll actually be able to get that legislation to go through" she said.

Outrun the Sun, an Indianapolis organization that raises awareness about sun danger and skin cancer prevention, is also in favor of a ban.

"(Our organization) supports the ban of tanning bed use for minors with the goal of decreasing the incidence of melanoma," said Executive Director Anita Day.

Several tanning salons believe a tanning ban for minors will eventually be passed in Indiana as well.

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