BOSTON (WWLP) – A bill banning banning teenagers younger than 18 has been signed into law by Governor Charlie Baker. Gov. Baker said the ban will reduce the risk of skin cancer among teenagers.
Baker signed a bill on Friday banning Massachusetts minors from using indoor tanning beds. The new law also prohibits people under the age of eighteen from working at tanning salons or gyms that offer indoor tanning.
Walpole State Senator Jim Timilty has been working on this legislation for a decade now. Bill supporters and dermatologists have warned that people who use tanning beds have a higher risk of developing melanoma, which is the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The previous law allowed Massachusetts teenagers between the ages of fourteen and seventeen to use a tanning bed, but only if they had parental consent. “Given the fact that this is something the legislature has been talking and debating for a while,” Gov. Baker explained, “I think both [Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito] and I felt that it was important to sign it and put it to bed.”
Tanning salon owners argue that such a law would hurt their business. They believe indoor tanning is safe as long as it’s done responsibly.