Teen tanning bed ban is misguided

It appears Sen. Jamie Raskin, the Montgomery County senator who is sponsoring legislation that would ban minors from using commercial tanning beds, does not have much faith in American teenagers, their parents or the proprietors of tanning salons.

Tanning booths are all timed for 10, 15, or 20 minutes depending on the chosen tanning booth and are set by the proprietor. There are even instructions for setting the bed for 2 to 3 minutes to enable one to work their way up to the longer times. He claims that spending two or three days a week exposed to a known carcinogen is bad for teenagers and this legislation will enable us to save teenagers from a terrible fate; yet, according to Joanna M. Nicolay of the Melanoma Foundation, the disease is most common among adults ages 25 to 29, not teenagers.

Senator Raskin insists that tanning beds present a deadly health risk and we should not be allowing minors to do it. I wonder what we can do in the summer months to prevent all these dumb teenagers from spending unsupervised time in the sunshine. The senator is a colon cancer survivor, not caused by tanning beds, as I am a tongue cancer survivor, again not caused by tanning beds. In fact, I tan two months in the winter every other day but then I'm 68, not a teenager.

If the purpose of this legislation is to save our teenagers from a deadly health risk, what about obesity? It has become an epidemic in America and is controlled by parents. Obesity causes diabetes, high cholesterol and heart conditions which cause the cost of health insurance, public and private, to go up.

Carl Alley

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