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If this news had hit when I was in high school, I might have torn out my poorly frosted hair. Apparently, twenty-two states are considering a new avenue of cancer prevention, and this time they're really going to hit where it hurts; the tanning bed. Law-makers are talking about making the fake-and-bake as illegal as cigarettes and porn.
States participating in the talks include California, Pennsylvania, New York, and New Jersey. The tanning industry has been increasingly vilified in recent years as skin-cancer rates have grown. But there hasn't been much progress towards safe tanning methods, other than those Oompa Loompa-ish spray tans. And, the reality is, as long as America continues to air Jersey Shore and import supermodels from Brazil, pasty, freckled Americans of Scandinavian descent will flock to tanning salons.
While I understand the motivation, I have to wonder if teenagers really need another rule added to the growing list of no-nos that they'll inevitably break? Is tanning a gateway of rebellion? First they're tanning, and the next thing you know they're heroin addicts! Opponents of the bill also argue that tan-happy teens aren't the only ones who would lose out from this ban. People in the tanning industry, which already has been suffering since the economy plunged, stand to take a ten-percent dive if the law passes.
Is this a debate similar to that around cigarette-smoking? Are minors too immature to decide if the long-term risks outweigh the present benefit? Or will they all just buy fake IDs or tan recklessly in the backyard?