March 26, 2009

Florida senator seeking tanning bed limits

Teenagers in Florida shouldn't be allowed to use tanning beds without parental consent and only after a certain age, a state senator says.

Florida state Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood, has formulated a proposal along with state Rep. Yolly Roberson, D-North Miami Beach, that would ban all children under the age of 16 from using tanning beds, The Miami Herald said Thursday.

The legislative proposal would also require teens between the ages of 16 and 18 to obtain their parents' permission before using the machines.

Sobel said the proposal is intended to limit the number of skin cancer cases in Florida.

''You would not sell cigarettes to a 16-year-old,'' Sobel said. "Why would you allow a 16-year-old to use a tanning bed?''

Miss Teen Florida Kayla Collier supported the precautionary measure in a meeting of the Senate Health Regulation Committee, which approved the proposal Wednesday.

No one wants to be pale, Collier, who has been diagnosed with skin cancer, said of the social pressure to use tanning beds. "I have that pressure of wanting to be tan and wanting to adhere to that image but there are other alternatives.''