Several states now have legislation under consideration regarding the banning of tanning beds for minors. This is incredible…but we need your help. Below is an example letter one might write to his/her state representative, provided by AIM at Melanoma. This particular letter is written with the North Carolina legislature in mind. If you live in another state which has pending legislation, you can certainly adjust this letter accordingly for your particular state.
In addition to the copy below, you should also personalize the letter a bit by including your own experience. Letters which do not appear as form letters have a greater impact, so put some thought and heart into it!
For North Carolinians, I included a few links to the General Assembly after the letter below. Please make sure to scroll down and check them out.
Here’s the letter:
Dear Mr./Ms. State Representative,
As your constituent, and AIM at Melanoma supporter, I strongly urge you to support HB 18 in order to protect minors under 18 from the known dangers of tanning beds.
I feel it is extremely important to protect our youth from this known human carcinogen. The World Health Organization labeled UV radiation from tanning beds as “carcinogenic to humans.” They are in the same risk category as cigarettes and we do not allow anyone under the age of 18 to purchase tobacco products.
In 2013, over 76,600 new melanoma cases will be diagnosed in the U.S. of which 2,620 of those melanoma cases will be reported in North Carolina.
In the last thirty years, the incidence of melanoma among young women has increased as much as 50 percent. Melanoma is now the second most common cancer in women aged 20-29. It is the leading cause of cancer death in women ages 25-30 and is second only to breast cancer in women aged 30-34. The rising rate of melanoma is, in part, due to the popularity of tanning salons among young women. Those who begin tanning before the age of 35 increase their melanoma risk by 87 percent.
The current statute does not protect all of North Carolina's youth from the dangers of indoor tanning beds. The indoor tanning industry continues to deny known risks of indoor tanning beds. The industry also provides false and misleading statements to teens and their parents about the health benefits of indoor tanning beds.
In addition, unlike other Group 1 carcinogens such as alcohol and tobacco, allowing parents to decide whether their children can use a tanning bed sends a confusing message about the dangers of artificial UV exposure, which is 10-15 times the concentration of the sun.
The World Health Organization, the American Medical Association, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and the American Academy of Dermatology have recommended that no one under the age of 18 use tanning parlor radiation.
In the interest of protecting teens from the early onset of serious medical conditions, I strongly urge you to support HB 18.
Thank you for your time and consideration.
Again, please make necessary adjustments for your state and include your own experience with melanoma and tanning.
Here are some links to help you out.
Click here website for the North Carolina General Assembly. Make sure to select “Who Represents Me?” to find out your representative.
Click here for a direct link to the Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act, or House Bill 18 (HB18). You can monitor the status here.
You may notice that the bill is currently under review by the Committee on Health and Human Services. Click here for a link to this committee and links to all the current committee members. I suggest you write to these folks as well! hey meet every Tuesday at 10:00AM.
With your help in North Carolina, and all across the country, we can ban the tan!