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Teen Tan Ban On Its Way To Oregon Governor's Desk

Alexandra Kocik
Northwest News Network

Teenagers will have a harder time getting an artificial tan under a bill that won final approval in the Oregon Senate Thursday. It requires teens under 18 to get a permission slip from a doctor if they want to use a tanning bed at a salon.

Supporters said there's an overwhelming link between skin cancer and artificial tans, especially among people who get them when they’re young. Opponents called it a “nanny state” measure and said teens would simply find other ways to tan.

But that didn’t sway Democratic Senator and family physician Elizabeth Steiner Hayward. "When 32 percent of high school senior girls are using tanning beds, parents aren't doing their job. And I'm sorry, because that reflects poorly on some of my fellow parents of teenage girls. I've got a 17-year-old girl myself. But ultimately, it's true."

Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber, himself a physician, says he looks forward to signing the bill. A similar measure failed in the Washington legislature this year.

On the Web:

HB 2896: Artificial tanning restrictions - Oregon Legislature