RI lawmaker proposes bill to make tanning beds illegal for minors

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A local lawmaker is proposing a bill that would prevent anyone under 18 from using indoor tanning booths across the state.

Representative Mia Ackerman is sponsoring the bill, which will make tanning beds illegal for minors.

Ackerman said the idea is similar to the smoking law, saying she feels it’s important to protect children from dangers that may cause cancer.

“They don’t realize the dangers of these tanning beds,” Ackerman said. “They just want to look good for that one day, but they don’t realize the detrimental effects it will have.”

Courtney Jusino of Cranston is also showing support for the bill. She is speaking up after her repeated use of tanning beds as a teenager led to a skin cancer diagnosis.

“It was never a thought,” Jusino said. “I don’t think it’s any child’s, you’re not thinking to the next day, never mind years and years from now.”

At a public hearing on Wednesday, multiple people, including Jusino, shared personal testimonies about the dangers of tanning beds.

In 2016, a bill preventing teens from using tanning beds took effect. Prior to that bill, those between the ages of 14 and 17 needed parental permission.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, every time someone tans the risk of getting skin cancer, including melanoma, increases.