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California bans underage use of tanning beds

Governor Jerry Brown signs a law which prohibits under-18s from using a tanning bed – raising the age threshold from 14.

CALIFORNIA HAS BECOME the first state in the United States to completely ban the use of sunbeds by people under the age of 18.

A bill prohibiting any minor from using an ultraviolet tanning device was signed into law on Sunday by the state’s governor Jerry Brown, Reuters reports.

The bill raises the state’s previous age limit, of 14. California had previously permitted people aged between 14 and 18 to use tanning beds with parental consent.

The ban had been supported by the American Cancer Society and a number of medical associations, according to Fox News.

“If everyone knew the true dangers of tanning beds, they’d be shocked,” the bill’s sponsor Ted Lieu said.

Local businesses have spoken out against the move, however, with businesspeople saying the new rules would put their businesses at risk.

“I’m afraid that, regardless, it’s going to just eliminate extra clientele for us to have come in, and this is a repeat business,” the owner of one tanning salon told a local TV station.

Similar proposals were previously outlined in Ireland by the previous health minister, Mary Harney, but were not brought forward in legislation before the change of government.

The bill was one of 140 signed by Brown in a flurry of activity on Sunday night, ahead of a deadline for passing or vetoing any legislation for the remainder of the year. Among the other laws he signed allows teens to receive sexual healthcare without parental consent.

The new rules come into force on January 1.

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