Bill bans minors from using tanning beds

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Concerns about skin cancer fueled a bill banning minors from using tanning beds at tanning salons, which passed a Senate committee Tuesday.

In a 6-2 vote, the Senate Health Policy Committee approved SB 572, sponsored by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, whose husband is a dermatologist.

Sobel joined supporters saying tanning beds can lead to the potentially deadly melanoma, a form of skin cancer.

Supporting the bill is Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons lobbyist Chris Nuland, representing a group whose members treat melanoma patients.

“This is one plastic-surgery procedure that they no longer want to do,” said Nuland.

Currently, Florida law allows minors 14 or older to visit tanning facilities with parental consent, and kids under 14 must have a parent with them.

The bill prohibits visits by minors, except when prescribed by a doctor to treat medical conditions. Committee Chair Aaron Bean and Sen. Jeff Brandes opposed the bill.

A House version (HB 499), filed by Rep. Elaine Schwartz, has not been seen by a committee, which makes passing unlikely during the 2014 legislative session.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.