Teen Tan Ban Proposal Takes a Step Back [POLL/AUDIO]
The voices of concerned New Jersey parents and business owners were heard, and the teen tanning ban proposal was turned upside down by a Senate committee Monday.
Under the compromise measure sponsored by Senators Robert Singer (R) and Loretta Weinberg (D), anyone under the age of 16 would not be allowed to use tanning salons. The original measure, approved weeks ago by the full Assembly, banned tanning bed use for anyone younger than 18.
The revised measure would allow 16-and 17-year-olds to use tanning beds, but their parents are required to purchase all tanning sessions.
"This age restriction, consistent with action by other states, protects our children from the potential health hazards of the habit of tanning, much like we have in place for cigarettes and alcohol," Senator Singer said.
More than 30 states have tanning regulations in place for minors.
Also, the new measure would not allow tanning 0n consecutive days for any minor. Salons would need to keep track of visitors' frequency.
Any salon in violation of the proposed guidelines would face much steeper fines than the ones in place today. The fine for a first offense would jump from $100 to $1,000, from $200 to $2,000 for the second offense, and a five-day suspension would be imposed upon a third offense.
Still, New Jersey salon owners and other members of the New Jersey Indoor Tanning Association said they were more pleased with this revision.
"While the original teen tan bill was a major overreach of government, this compromise works," said the Association.
James Oliver, a volunteer Association member and CEO of Beach Bum Tanning, said the original measure placed too much power in the hands of government.
"What we're supporting is more parental control," Oliver said.
He predicted the original measure would result in a 10 to 20 percent loss in business for the industry, along with possibly dozens of salons closing across the state.