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Washington Senate Moves To Ban Indoor Tanning For Minors

Alexandra Kocik
Northwest News Network
The Washington Senate passed a bill that would restrict minors from using tanning salons.

The Washington Senate passed a bill this week that’s had a tough time in recent years -- even just reaching the floor for a vote.

The bill proposes a ban on teens under the age of 18 from using tanning salons. This time it passed with an 83 percent approval from the mostly Republican controlled state Senate.

Democratic Senator Jeanne Kohl-Wells, one of the bill's sponsors, says the fact that a Republican was a prime sponsor encouraged bi-partisan support.

And one factor that really helped this year was that “the tanning industry did not oppose the bill," she says. "They had been very vociferous opponents in years past.”

This version of the bill reduces fines against salons serving minors from $1,000 a day to $250 dollars per violation. And at the hearing this week, tanning industry representatives said they recognized a need for a conversation about responsible UV exposure. Indoor tanning is associated with increased risks of skin cancer.

The bill now heads to the democratically controlled house. If passed, Washington would be among six other states banning indoor tanning for minors.