Youths under 16 banned from Indiana tanning beds

Herald Staff Writer

Minors under 16 have until June 30 to hop into a tanning bed at Indiana salons.

Come July 1, they will be banned from the beds, even if they have parental supervision.

Gov. Mike Pence signed the bill for that change, Senate Bill 50, on Tuesday.

The owner of Island Tropix Plus Tanning in Jasper, Victoria Lueken, does not agree with the focus being put on tanning facilities.

“Are they regulating how long you can be out in the sun?” she asked. “I think that some of this stuff they talk about is extreme. They aren’t regulating how long a person can be outside or at the pool and tan. Parents have to be responsible for that. And they are responsible for their children being at a tanning facility.”

Lueken doesn’t expect the change to have much effect on her business, since she doesn’t have many customers under age 16. But the ones who do come must be with their parent, which is the current state rule.

“They put a lot of emphasis on the tanning facilities, talking about them being dangerous. And that’s not true,” Lueken said. “At least here it’s a controlled atmosphere - a person can be out in the sun all day and burn.”

Brooke Knies, owner of iCandy Salon-Spa in Jasper, said that she can see why the state would want to enact a ban for children.

“I think it’s probably a good idea,” she said. “Kids under 16 aren’t old enough to think about their future, let alone the dangerous effects from too much tanning.”

Eye Candy does organic spray tanning only, which she said is healthier than regular tanning. So she doesn’t expect the ban to hurt her company. “If anything, it will help us,” she said.

Indiana is one of 33 states that regulate tanning. The state previously allowed anyone 16 or younger to tan if accompanied by a parent or guardian. Those ages 17 and 18 need permission to go to a tanning salon alone.

Opponents criticized the bill both for stepping on parents’ toes and for not going far enough to regulate youth tanning. Some Indiana salon owners say little business comes from teens 16 and younger.

A bill that would have banned tanning for anyone under 18 failed last year.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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