ANNAPOLIS, Md. – Earlier today, Maryland’s Senate passed HB124 which would prohibit those under 18 from using indoor tanning devices. The Senate companion bill (SB299) will be voted on by the House of Delegates later this week. Following is a statement from Jocelyn Collins, Maryland’s government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN):
“ACS CAN strongly encourages Gov. Larry Hogan to sign HB124 because it will reduce the risk of skin cancer among young people in Maryland by prohibiting those under 18 from using tanning devices. We commend Del. Karen Lewis Young and Sen. Joanne C. Benson for their leadership in sponsoring this legislation.
“We know that the earlier a person starts tanning, the greater the risk of being diagnosed with melanoma and other skin cancers later in life. And the most recent data indicates that about one in six high school girls use a tanning device by their senior year. Once the governor signs it into law, we expect to see these numbers decrease which will lower the risk of future skin cancers.”
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and exposure to ultraviolet radiation using indoor tanning devices is a proven risk factor. In fact, the World Health Organization classifies indoor tanning devices as “carcinogenic to humans,” which is the same category as tobacco and asbestos.
In 2019, the American Cancer Society projects that 1,750 Marylanders will be diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, and 110 are projected to die from the disease.
The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network is making cancer a top priority for public officials and candidates at the federal, state and local levels. ACS CAN empowers advocates across the country to make their voices heard and influence evidence-based public policy change as well as legislative and regulatory solutions that will reduce the cancer burden. As the American Cancer Society’s nonprofit, nonpartisan advocacy affiliate, ACS CAN is critical to the fight for a world without cancer. For more information, visit www.fightcancer.org.