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Senate Bill to Ban Tanning Beds for Minors Fails

LRC Public Information

Legislation to ban most minors from Kentucky tanning beds has failed in committee. The House-approved measure fell two votes shy of passage in the Senate Health and Welfare Committee.  

Lebanon Senator Jimmy Higdon says he could have supported the bill, if it pertained only to those 14 and under.

"I just can't get to the point where I ban juniors and seniors in high school from using a tanning bed," said Higdon. "I think they're of age to be responsible enough to understand the consequences."

Testifying in support of the tanning bed prohibition was Doctor Connie White. She says so often serious skin damage and skin cancer risks increase when young people use tanning beds.

"I used to tell my patients, I haven't laid out in the sun since 1976,my senior year of college and I get a skin cancer taken off of me about every year and I'm almost 60," said Higdon. "So, it's from that exposure before 1976, that I'm getting my skin cancers now."

White says she has experienced basal skin cancers and not the more deadly melanoma cancers.

Committee Chair Julie Denton doesn't expect the issue to resurface in the remaining days of this session.  The legislation would allow use of tanning beds for minors with medical prescriptions.

Stu Johnson is a reporter/producer at WEKU in Lexington, Kentucky.
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