Rep. Helena Moreno wants tanning equipment off-limits to minors - FOX 8, WVUE,, weather, app, news, saints

Rep. Helena Moreno wants tanning equipment off-limits to minors

NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - If a state lawmaker has her way, tanning beds will be off limits to minors in Louisiana.

The bill by Rep. Helena Moreno, D-New Orleans, faces its first legislative test Wednesday. Moreno calls it a skin cancer protection bill.

"It was brought to me by a group of dermatologists in the New Orleans area," Moreno said.

The bill she authored which would prohibit the use of tanning equipment by anyone 17 or younger in Louisiana.

"And the reason why we're doing that is because studies have shown that if you use tanning beds during those teenage years, you have a much increased risk of getting very serious skin cancer - I'm talking about melanoma," Moreno said.

House Bill 746 is set to be heard by the House Health and Welfare Committee Wednesday morning. If the legislation is approved by the state House and Senate and signed by the governor, establishments offering tanning services would be required to put up signs stating that Louisiana law prohibits persons 17 and younger from using tanning equipment that emits ultraviolet light.

"Right now they need a parental consent. They have to go in with a parent if they're ages 14 to 17. We have some concerns over the enforcement of that, and we just think that an overall ban would be the best way to go," said Moreno.

At Planet Beach on Tchoupitoulas Street, tanning services are offered. But manager Michael Drake said they are very careful not to serve minors unless they have parental permission.

"What we do when they come in, they have to show a valid driver's license. If they're under the age of 18, they have to have parental consent. Their parent has to come in with them and sign the release form," Drake said.

And while Drake said his clientele trends older, he still supports Moreno's efforts.

"With our business model, we'd like to see more unity with other businesses that offer UV therapy as well," he said.

"We know that we're going to get some opposition, but we feel that the committee and hopefully the entire Legislature is going to vote on the side of protecting our teenagers, and prevent them from having a very deadly disease as young adults," Moreno said.

She expects young skin cancer victims who used tanning beds to testify during the committee hearing.

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