• Should tanning salons be off limits to teens?

    Date: 04.07.08 | by Judge Tom.

    Restrictions on tanning for teens

    In 2007, North Dakota passed a law prohibiting anyone under 14 from using a tanning salon. Older teens must have written permission from a parent or guardian.

    At least two dozen other states have similar restrictions on teens tanning by artificial ultraviolet rays. You might look great after your session but the risk includes skin cancer, age spots and wrinkles. Recent studies show that your chances of getting melanoma increase 75% by using tanning lights before age 35.

    Photo by nicsaurusrex (Flickr)

    Some argue that, like tobacco and alcohol, salons should be regulated and put off-limits to teens. Others argue against more laws and government interference, favoring education over regulation. The World Health Organization wants to restrict tanning salons for anyone under 18.

    Update: California is the first state in the country to completely ban minors from indoor tanning. The new law goes into effect on January 1, 2012.

    What do you think? Do we need laws about everything? Or should common sense be given more credit? Are you going to intentionally put yourself in danger? If this issue was on your state’s ballot at election time, how would you vote?

    Judge Tom

    This post was written by Judge Tom. Judge Tom is the founder and moderator of AsktheJudge.info. He is a retired juvenile judge and spent 23 years on the bench. He has written several books for lawyers and judges as well as teens and parents including the recently published 'Teen Cyberbullying Investigated' (Free Spirit Publishing). When he's not answering teens' questions, Judge Tom can be found hiking, traveling and reading.

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    1 Comment subscribe to these comments.

    • Elin
      Thu, 30 Jun 2011 at 12:56

      I think it would be extremely beneficial for teens to be restricted from the use of tanning salons. Tanning Salons in the first place are extremely bad for your health. They ruin your skin and have been known to cause cancer on more than one account. Also, teens are easily pushed to do things they normally wouldn’t because of peer pressure and bullying. It would be absolutely horrible for one of those kids to get cancer just because someone else didn’t like the way they looked.
      Good point, Elin. Thanks.