Governor Christie Signs A Bill Prohibiting Kids Under 17 from Using Tanning Salons – Agree or Disagree [POLL]
Since the story of the “tanning mom” came out, much attention has been given to the dangers of visiting tanning booths, especially by teenagers.
And especially now, since prom season will be here before you know it; graduating seniors will want to "look good" for the event (if you consider "looking good" looking like a Clementine orange!)
Given that, along with the well documented dangers, the Governor yesterday signed a bill sponsored in part by Assemblyman Ralph Caputo that bans the use of tanning parlors by teens under 17, and also bans 14 year olds from getting a spray tan.
The caveat, according to this, is that the law would allow 17-year-olds to use a tanning salon provided a parent or guardian accompanies the child at the first visit to give consent. Christie took the unusual step of including a "signing statement" with his announcement to explain why he supported tougher government restrictions on the tanning industry, even though New Jersey already had a tough law.
In a nod to "the documented and well-understood risks associated with the misuse of indoor tanning," Gov. Chris Christie tonight signed a bill prohibiting teens under 17 from using tanning beds and 14-year-olds from getting a spray tan.
The law that’s already in place is as follows:
New Jersey already had tough laws against indoor tanning by minors. The practice is illegal for any child under 14, and required written parental consent for minors under 18. The new law will take effect in six months.
So the question is, why do we need more legislation?
If parental permission is already included in the present law, doesn’t it seem foolish to put in place a law that practically duplicates the previous one?
Tanning salon owners told lawmakers during the hearings on the bill, (A2142) that further regulations would threaten their businesses and could lead to layoffs.
Christie acknowledged in his statement that too many rules and regulations, especially on small busineses. "can have a corrosive effect on our state's growth, and the lives of our citizens." "Nonetheless, I sign this bill because of the documented and well-understood risks associated with the misuse of indoor tanning systems," he added.
"Use of tanning devices is particularly dangerous for the young, as studies indicate that individuals who begin tanning before age 35 have a 75 percent higher risk of melanoma."
Christie noted the driving force behind the bill was "the single but breathlessly reported incident" of a woman whom authorities charged for child endangerment for taking her child into the tanning bed with her.
A grand jury in February, however, declined to indict Patricia Krentcil, dubbed the "Tanning Mom" who because of her bronze complexion became fodder for late-night comics and an Saturday Night Live skit. While acknowledging that she brought the child into the room at City Tropics in Nutley, Krentcil denied putting the girl inside the tanning bed.
Assemblyman Ralph Caputo (D-Essex), one of the bill's sponsors, said the change was necessary "in the interest of protecting as many people as possible."
"I think this is a healthy compromise that heightens oversight," Caputo said added. "This is akin to when we raised the tobacco purchasing age. Hopefully time delayed is life saved."
Saving people from themselves. Sort of like a “Bloomberg-esque” way of legislating.
Or is that too extreme a comparison.
Now that the law was already signed by the Governor, I’m surprised we haven’t given it a name: like the “Tanning Mom” Law.