ANNAPOLIS - Earlier today, Maryland’s Senate passed a bill that would prohibit those under 18 from using indoor tanning devices in the state. Yesterday, the House of Delegates passed the same legislation. Following is a statement from Jocelyn Collins, Maryland’s government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network:
“The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) is pleased that Senate and House both have supported bills that would reduce the risk of skin cancer among young people in Maryland by prohibiting minors from using tanning beds. This is a huge step towards saving countless lives.
“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. Research has proven that using an indoor tanning device before the age of 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 59 percent. And the risk is even higher when tanning bed use begins before the age of 25.”
Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer and exposure to ultraviolet radiation through the use of indoor tanning devices is a proven risk factor. 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.
Both bills still need voting on by the opposite chamber – a step that will take place between now and the end of Session – before heading to Governor Hogan’s desk.
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.