NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) – Teens under age 17 in New York will be banned from indoor tanning under a new law intended to protect children from ultraviolet radiation and a higher risk of skin cancer.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure Monday. The new law also requires teens between the ages of 17 and 18 to obtain parental consent. It takes effect in 30 days.
“Exposure to UV radiation can be extremely harmful, particularly for younger people, and this new law will help protect teenagers from the heightened risk of skin cancer that can come from using indoor tanning devices,” Cuomo said in a statement. “This legislation recognizes that many tanning salons are small businesses facing economic challenges, however, protecting our children must always be our first priority.”
New York currently bars indoor tanning for children under 14, but allows 14- to 17-year-olds indoor tanning with parental permission.
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg, a bill sponsor, said indoor tanning at an early age is one of those things people live to regret.
“I thank the Governor for taking this important step to prevent cancer,” he said.
The American Cancer Society also thanked lawmakers for “their dedication and hard work on this issue.”
“By banning indoor tanning for those 16 years old and younger, New York is providing significant cancer protections,” Blair Horner, Vice President for Advocacy of the American Cancer Society of NY & NJ said in a statement.
But James Oliver, a member of the New York Indoor Tanning Association, said the ban might force teenagers to choose a more dangerous method of tanning without parental supervision.
“To put this ban into effect, we feel that it would force teenagers into more risky alternatives which are to lay in people’s backyards, lay in driveways, go to the pool,” he told 1010 WINS.
Similar legislation is being considered in New Jersey.
In 2009, tanning devices were classified as carcinogenic by the World Health Organization.
(TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)