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NY Legislature approves banning minors from tanning booths

ALBANY — A measure that would prohibit anyone younger than 18 years old from using commercial tanning booths gained final legislative approval Tuesday.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Phil Boyle (R-Bay Shore), was approved overwhelmingly by the Republican-led Senate and in April by the Democratic-led Assembly. It goes now to Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo to sign into law or veto.

“It’s lights-out for kids being exposed to the dangers of indoor tanning,” said Blair Horner of the New York Public Interest Research Group, which pushed the bill as a health measure. “NYPIRG applauds the actions of the Senate and Assembly to protect minors from the dangers of indoor tanning. We urge the governor to sign this important legislation.”

The American Cancer Society also pushed for the bill.

“Kids and tanning devices don’t mix,” said Julie Hart, New York government relations director of the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network.

Boyle, quoting the cancer society, said the highest risk for skin cancer lies in the use of indoor tanning facilities. “The younger a person starts and the more repeated the exposure to ultraviolet rays, the greater the risk for developing skin cancer later in life,” he said.

The bill closes a loophole in a 2012 law that prohibited anyone under 17 years old from using tanning booths, which health studies have shown could contribute to skin cancer. That was a compromise amid heavy lobbying by the tanning booth industry at the time.

Supporters of the bill say teenagers often spend more time in the booths around this time of year, during prom season and the beginning of summer.

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