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Bill restricting teens from tanning parlors killed

Union Leader State House Bureau
March 19. 2014 7:35PM

CONCORD — The House killed legislation that would have banned tanning facilities from serving people under 18 years of age.

The vote to indefinitely postpone House Bill 1351 was 175-154.

Current law already forbids anyone under the age of 18 from tanning at a tanning center without written consent of a parent or legal guardian and without an operator present. The law also forbids any child under the age of 14 from tanning at a tanning facility without a written order from a physician.

The House vote overturned its Executive Departments and Administration Committee, which had voted 10-9 that the bill ought to pass.

Rep. Steven Beaudoin, R-Rochester, argued against the bill, saying, “If we’re going to regulate people’s behavior, there is a lot of risky behavior people get involved in.

“I really don’t feel we have any business telling a parent they can’t let their kid tan so they can look a little better for the prom or before they expose themselves to the bright Florida sun in the winter.

“Is this really something we want to be doing?” Beaudoin asked.

He said that people under 18 can already get tattoos, piercings and plastic surgery.

Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, R-Manchester, added that if the bill passes, women under 18 “can get an abortion but they can’t get a tan. I think it’s time to get real.

“An abortion would be legal, but a tan would not,” he said. “Think about that.”

Rep. Jeanine Notter, R-Merrimack, asked, “Should the state mandate vitamin D supplements to make up for the lack of sunshine?”

But Rep. Peter Schmidt, D-Dover, said that during the public hearing, the committee heard from a former Miss Teenage USA who said that she had tanned at age 16 to improve her appearance for the competition.

According to Schmidt, she said that she later discovered that “she had discoloration on her skin and it turned out that she had a pre-cancerous lesion. She testified that she had skin cancer and had to be operated on several times, and she regretted her young person’s assessment of the situation.”

Before the House killed the bill, a move to table it failed, 167-162.

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