No more tanning beds for California minors

A tanner inside a tanning bed.
A tanner inside a tanning bed.
Alexis O'Toole/Wikimedia Commons

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Gov. Jerry Brown on Monday signed a bill that will outlaw tanning bed use by minors in hopes of protecting young Californians from skin cancer. The new rule starts Jan. 1, 2012.

Sen. Ted Lieu (D-Torrance), who authored the SB 746, said 30 other states have some restrictions but that California would be the first to outlaw use of tanning beds for those younger than 18.

Currently, it's illegal for those 14 and under to use tanning beds in the Golden State, bu 15- to 17-year-olds can tan with their parents' permission.

The Indoor Tanning Association (ITA) said 5 to 10 percent of its customers are younger than 18, and the organization already adheres to some of the most stringent regulations in the nation.

John Overstreet of the ITA said the legislature is likely to cause more harm than good.

"All this is gonna to do is they're going to go outside, they’re gonna get sunburned because there’s no parental involvement involved, there’s no trained staff, there’s no regulation of tanning outdoors and it’s the law of unintended consequences," he said. "You’re not gonna stop these kids from sun-tanning. You’re just gonna push them into an environment where they’re gonna get sunburned.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.