On April 1, 2013, Governor Christie signed A-2142 (Caputo, 28th)/S-1172 (Weinberg, 37th), a bill which prohibits minors under 14 years of age from using spray tanning in tanning facilities and prohibits minors under 17 years of age from using tanning beds. Ryan M. Jones has been working closely with the legislature to ensure its passage and proved to be a major victory for the state’s youth.
Along with his signature, Governor Christie issued a signing statement acknowledging the increased cancer risks associated with indoor tanning.
Nonetheless, I sign this bill because of the documented and well-understood risks associated with misuse of indoor tanning systems. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the overuse of indoor tanning has been associated with an increased risk for skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. Exposure to UV radiation, either from sunlight or indoor tanning devices, is perhaps the most avoidable known risk factor for skin cancer. Use of tanning devices is particularly dangerous for the young, as studies indicate that individuals who begin tanning before age thirty-five have a 75% higher risk of melanoma. In all, the evidence suggests that limiting indoor tanning among minors may prevent some incidence of cancer later in life and, for that reason, I sign Assembly Bill No. 2142 into law.
In addition, fellow Republican and melanoma survivor, Assemblywoman Schepisi (39th), issued a statement commending the Governor for raising awareness on this issue.
I know first-hand the dangers of using tanning beds and the potential harm they can cause. The lure of enhancing one’s attractiveness can be very enticing, but the hidden dangers are not always known or manifested until years later. I was fortunate in overcoming my malignancy. Unfortunately, there are times when the diagnosis from this cosmetic enhancement comes too late and does irreparable harm to young vibrant lives that are full of potential. The new law will at least raise awareness of this aesthetic procedure and give people pause before using it.
Together with our client, American Cancer Society, Cancer Action Network, we commend the hard work on the passage of this legislation.