Legislators propose tanning ban for minors

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Minors may soon have to get tan naturally and not in a tanning salon in the state of Ohio.

Legislatures have proposed a ban on minors using tanning beds in salons.

Locally, tanners and business owners don’t like the idea.

“I think it is a little bit ridiculous,” said Tiffany Smith, who’s been tanning since she was 15. “As long as the parents are allowing it, it should be okay.”

Lawmakers in Columbus are taking some heat on a proposed bill that would ban people under the age of 18 from using a tanning bed.

“I have been going since 15 and I’m fine. I do not have wrinkles, I don’t have skin cancer,” said Smith.

“They are trying to control how parents raise their kids,” said Duke Gerardi of Island Tropics Tanning. “The kids go outside in the sun from morning until night so. At least with tanning it is a little more controlled.”

Representative Terry Johnson (R) is sponsoring the bill. He told the Columbus-Dispatch he feels it’s a public safety measure, and he believes it’s a health factor and health problem, but local tanners feel that it’s safer to tan in a salon rather than out in the sun.

“It’s safer to do it in the tanning bed because it does shut off. You can fall asleep outside laying by the water and you can get severly burnt that way you cant do it in a tanning bed its timed,” said Smith.

The worry for local salon owners is losing some of their customers. Especially during Homecoming and Prom seasons when business booms.

“Homecoming and Prom would really take a hit because that is when most of the kids come in here. We probably do 150 kids a day during that time,” added Girardi.

Girardi worries what would come next if this bill passes in Ohio.

“Honestly, besides trying to shut us all down. That is probably the next step, yeah,” said Girardi.

If the bill passes, minors would be able to tan only with a doctors prescription to treat conditions such as acne, psoriasis and depression. Currently, hearings are happening in the state capital.

There’s no timetable as of yet for a vote.

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