Thursday, February 14, 2013

Teen tanning ban proposed in Oregon

I started tanning in high school
so that I looked pretty for prom.
Wow, it’s been a busy week! On Monday morning, Oregon lawmakers proposed a bill that would prohibit minors under age 18 from using UV tanning beds unless a doctors prescription is provided. I had a chance to speak with several local news stations about the bill, and about my experience tanning frequently as a teenager. Here are links to the news segments in case you missed them.

Some alarming facts about skin cancer in Oregon and across the country:
  • Women in Oregon who are diagnosed with melanoma have the highest death rate compared with those who suffer from the disease in any other state, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
  • Oregon has the fourth highest death rate for melanoma in the nation.
  • Tanning bed use before age 35 can increase an individual’s risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent. 
  • Forty percent of white females between the ages of 16 and 18 visit tanning facilities, according to a 2012 Congressional report. 

Stay tuned for more updates on the bill! If you live in Oregon, be sure to contact your state representative to let them know you support the teen tanning ban.


  1. Katie, the statistics are terrifying and lets pray the bill will go through.

  2. The 75% increase in the chances to get skin cancer, according the Association of Dermatology, the main advocate for this ban, is based on the statistic that people normally have a 2.25% chance of developing skin cancer usually, and with tanning, it DRASTICALLY climbs to 2.75%... that's where that number comes from. It's deceptive to say the least.

  3. Aaron is correct. In fact that study includes respondents who are type 1 skin type. The type that can not be tanned legally in Oregon. Without those type 1 respondents I'm guessing it would be entirely insignificant instead of just insignificant. Or even showing less of a chance developing cancer.

    1. Thanks, Aaron and Anonymous, for your comments. Unfortunately, in my experience, Oregon tanning salons do allow individuals with type 1 skin to use UV tanning beds. I've personally been allowed to exceed recommended exposure times by multiple tanning salon operators. In 2011, I visited a Tan Republic to get a UV-free spray tan. I was told by a Tan Republic employee that tanning is the only way to get enough vitamin D (not true), and he tried to sell me a UV tanning package even though I had indicated on my form that I have a history of skin cancer. How is that not deceptive?

  4. Thank you for sharing the news. I hope the young people will be more acknowledged of the risk of skin disease.
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