UPDATED: Bill Aims to Keep Minors Away from Tanning Beds

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BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) UPDATED 6:30 PM -- The question of what age teenagers should begin tanning is a popular subject among parents all over the Commonwealth.

Earlier this week a bill passed the Kentucky House that would keep anyone under the age of 18 out of tanning beds. Lawmakers who voted yes to the bill said the health risks are just too great.

"The presence of skin cancer in our society is a real problem. Young people sometimes make decisions they'll regret later on. Just having a connection to tanning beds and adults is a good thing. That's basically what this legislation would do," stated Rep. Wilson Stone, (D) Scottsville.

Business owners said if the measure passes the Senate and becomes law, it would not only hurt business, it could kill it.

"We have approximately 50 to 60 individuals under the age of 18 that tan. We've got approximately nine under the age of 14 that tan. During prom season, the first two weeks of prom, they bust the doors down to get in here and get that tan. Spring Break is coming up here in a couple of weeks. It's going to devastate the business," said Beach Babz Tanning Owner, Craig Runner.

The law currently states that anyone under 18 has to have a parent sign a consent form before they enter a tanning bed. If the teen is below 14 then a parent must be present while the person tans. Business owners said having the decision made by the parent is how they'd like to see it stay.

"If it's not broke, don't fix it. Leave the law like it is. We've got other businesses and other things in our state, worse off than laying in a tanning bed," added Runner.

In order to become law the bill has to pass the Senate, where it awaits a vote.

FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP)-- The Kentucky House has passed a measure aimed at blocking minors from using tanning beds.

The measure cleared the House on a 61-31 vote Monday. It now goes to the state Senate for consideration.

The bill is sponsored by Democratic Rep. David Watkins of Henderson. He cites rising rates of skin cancer, especially among young women, as the reason for his proposal to keep people under age 18 from becoming customers at tanning facilities.

The bill would make exceptions for minors who have been prescribed the use of tanning beds by physicians.

The legislation is House Bill 310.

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