No More Fake Baking for Teens

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Recently, the Senate proposed a bill that would have made it illegal for anyone under 18 years of age to use a tanning bed without a doctor's prescription. Has indoor tanning become another 'no-no' for teens along with smoking, drinking, talking on cell phones while driving, watching rated R movies, and staying out past curfew? Although many may find this proposal unfair, it is necessary to limit this unhealthy practice minors partake in. The majority of tanners do not even consider the harsh consequences of 'fake baking,' but instead solely focus on maintaining a dark skin tone throughout the year. At least 29 states have already passed laws restricting teens from tanning salons, but will this really benefit the teen population?

According to Dr. Arielle N.B. Kauvar, a dermatologist and chair of the American Academy of Dermatology Council on Communications, bulbs in the tanning beds emit 15 times the rays of natural sunlight. This increase of rays elevates the chances of developing both melanoma and non-melanoma cancer for frequent users. With up to 80% of an individual's lifetime sun exposure occurring during the early years of youth, it is evident that artificial tanning should be prohibited from teens to prevent this deadly cancer as well as premature aging, such age spots and wrinkles. While there are safer options for teens to maintain their dark tans, such as spray-on tans, it has been proven that the sun actually brings more benefits to one's health. According to an article on the Pew Research Center Publications Website, 'sun exposure can help fight off depression by boosting levels of serotonin, reduce heart disease by raising levels of Vitamin D, prevent diabetes, prevent cavities, boost fertility, ease irritable bowl disorder, combat menstrual problems, ease skin conditions such as psoriasis, acne and eczema and can even help with weight loss.' Now teenagers can get a nice tan and boost their health!

More than 1 million people use tanning salons on an average day, 70% of these people being Caucasian females ages 16-49. If the number of people using tanning salons increases, melanoma and other skin conditions will elevate among the human population. The government should therefore approve the bill that prohibits teens under 18 to reduce this bad habit that seems to grow as the teens become older. To save the teen generation, teens must bring an end to damaging the skin they live in.





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