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N.H. House Passes Bill Banning Minors From Using Tanning Beds

Tom Vagliery via Flickr CC

The New Hampshire House passed a bill Wednesday banning anyone under 18 from using tanning beds.

Lawmakers approved the bill 199 to 162 on Wednesday, sending the bill to the Senate.

Salem Representative Gary Azarian sponsored the bill, and says the measure is akin to existing bans on minors purchasing alcohol and cigarettes.

"It's inherently dangerous for persons under 18 years of age to use a tanning bed," he said. "It causes melanoma and cancers and they die from it. It's a reasonable request to ban persons under 18 from tanning in a tanning bed."

Existing law requires parental permission for anyone under 18 to tan, but this new bill bans all use of tanning beds for minors. It doesn't prohibit doctors from prescribing the use of phototherapy devices.

Opponents of the bill like Representative Jeanine Notter of Merrimack say it takes away parental rights and that the dangers of tanning beds are exaggerated.

"If we know better than parents about harmful rays, what's next?," Notter asked. "Banning children from going out in the sunshine? Mandate the use of sunscreen? Mandate the taking of vitamin D supplements?" 

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