PHOENIX – A bill to protect children from the harms of indoor tanning devices is once again on the precipice of becoming law after passing 45-15 in the Arizona House of Representatives. American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network of Arizona Government Relations Director Brian Hummell issued the following statement after the vote:
“Arizona is one step closer to joining 15 other states, including Texas, that have comprehensive laws protecting children from skin cancer. We’re indebted to our volunteers, many of whom are cancer survivors, for their powerful and heartfelt testimony that helped sway lawmakers and reminded us why we advocate.
“HB 2084 would protect children from skin cancer by prohibiting minors from using indoor tanning devices. Melanoma is the fifth most-common type of cancer in Arizona, and research shows people who use tanning devices before age 35 increase their risk for developing melanoma by 59 percent.
“We urge Senate leadership to seize the opportunity to save lives by quickly assigning HB 2084 to a committee and give the bill a fair hearing.
“Last year, a similar bill passed through the House but did not receive a hearing in Senate committees. It would be a missed opportunity for Arizona to find itself in the same position when the legislative session closes. The effects of ultraviolet exposure are cumulative, meaning the earlier someone starts tanning the more likely they are to develop a potentially deadly skin cancer.
“We do not have a moment to lose when it comes to protecting our children from cancer. ACS CAN Arizona and our volunteers will continue educating and advocating with their lawmakers until the state approves evidenced-based policies proven to lessen the burden of cancer.”