Ban on Tanning Beds: Common Sense or Government Interference?

According to the American Cancer Society, use of a tanning bed before age 35 increases your risk of developing melanoma by 75 percent…. 75 percent! 

Melanoma, the sixth most common cancer in men and the seventh in women (in the United States), is a type of skin cancer caused when skin is damaged by the harmful effects of the sun. It is more common in fair-skinned people. Survivors of melanoma must avoid the sun and are always at risk for developing more. 

The ACS says that overexposure to ultraviolet radiation is thought to be the primary risk factor for most skin cancers and that indoor tanning beds deliver UV rays just as the sun does. High-pressure tanning bulbs can deliver as much as 15 times the UV radiation we receive from the sun, turning a 15-30 minute tanning bed session into the equivalent of an entire day at the beach.

Currently 29 states have laws on the books with various restrictions regarding the use of tanning salons by minors. Since the start of 2009, 20 states have introduced legislation either addressing existing restrictions or imposing new ones. We’re heading in the right direction.

We protect — or attempt to protect — our young from the dangers of smoking, drinking alcohol, and driving before they are fully prepared. Laws exist in these areas because it is the general consensus that these behaviors are dangerous and that minors do not have the capacity to make such decisions for themselves. Whether or not they have responsible parents is not at issue. 

I’m a big fan of small business and I know this is not good news for the owners of tanning salons, but the health and safety of minors is a far more important issue. Adults are another matter. We can legal choose to smoke or drink ourselves to death, so why not tan ourselves to death? As for me, I’m sticking with the heavy-duty sun block and steering clear of the tanning salons.

The question today is this:  Is it plain common sense… or is it simply too much government interference to impose stricter regulations on tanning salons — at least where minors are concerned. Please take a moment to respond to the poll below.

For additional information on state by state legislation, visit the National Conference of State Legislatures


Lesa D
Lesa Dabout a month ago

i'd go with common sense... but that's just me; I haven't been in the sun 'on purpose' since 1987!

JAMES G.5 years ago


Jackie S.
Jackie Smith7 years ago

I believe that suntan beds not only increase a persons risk to melanoma but other cancers such as breast cancer and womb cancer etc,..
We MUST remember tht the skin is actually an organ,.. that lives and breathes,..
the skin on a persons cheest is the thinnest of the entire body.,.. and is likely to absorb the most amount of radiation during sun bed exposure

Josy A.
Josy A.7 years ago

Yeah!! Lets ban a place where people are trained to educate others on the risk of UV over-exposure and let these kids lay out in the sun all day frying themselves and actually doing themselves harm. Lets ban public pools and beaches! There is more sun-damage at those places than in any responsible tanning salon. Give me a break people. Start thinking for yourselves. These kids will get there tans no matter what. If anything needs done is making sure people are educated on OVER-EXPOSURE to UV. Sunlight exists for a reason and is essential and beneficial to life. Overexposure is the issue, not exposure.

Jay Allen
Adrian McHarg7 years ago


Support the campaign and sign the online petition....

Official campaign website:

Terry Khoury
Terry Khoury8 years ago

Let me say this...I feel very badly for anyone with any type of skin cancer or cancer of any type. My point is not if tanning beds are healthy or not. My point is that it is not a place for government to decide. There are other areas that they already are failing our children that have far greater negative implications with a far larger number of children impacted and they aren't living up to those obligations. Fix those issues before spreading any further into our personal lives.

Terry Khoury
Terry Khoury8 years ago

Here is my issue: The use of tanning beds is and should be a personal issue. Government has bigger issues that they need to attend to rather than inching further and further into our personal lives. Howard County Maryland just steam-rolled a regulation into existance banning minors from tanning beds. Maybe I would feel it was for the best interest of children IF the government wasn't cutting funding to these same children every time things were tight. If the best interest of the children were really the basis...why don't they ban things that cause the children to sit & eat junk food and become obese.Obesity has far more health complications for children and it directly affects more children. Why is school food not healthier & why are schools all over the country cutting out the physical education classes? These are things that impact the health of our nations children far more than the tanning beds. As a parent I'm angry. That is my decision as a parent. And what I feel is right for my child may not be right for someone elses, but I don't tell them they can't make decisions that work for them. Where does it stop? At what point do we say enough is enough? The minors are going to tan. But instead of doing it over time & reducing sunburns (which cause skin cancer) they are going to get burned far more often...then what? The ban them from outside? Wake up people. And for those with melanoma...I saw the blogs that said too much time in the sun as a child...the sun..not

Corrie S.
Corrie S.8 years ago

Wow... The audacity of some of you people is amazing. I AM A 30 YO MOTHER OF 3 LIVING WITH MELANOMA!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have NEVER been a sun lover. When I was a kid I was in the sun ALOT and now have all the scars to prove it. Some of you act like Tanning beds are okay...let me tell you something, if you go to the tanning bed, you go to your grave. It is simple math.

Anne B.
Anne B.8 years ago

Most people think it will happen to someone else. People will never realize the dangers of tanning beds until it hits home. I'm a melanoma survivor & personally think they should be outlawed, especially for teenagers.

Jennifer R.
Jennifer R8 years ago

Just use common sense, the government doesn't need more excuses to add to its power.