RICHMOND, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--AIM at Melanoma, the largest international foundation dedicated to melanoma research and patient advocacy, applauds Governor Jerry Brown's signing today of Senate Bill 746, which now bans children under 18 from using indoor tanning beds. Tanning beds have been linked to the rapid rise in melanoma rates among 15-39 year olds.
Co-sponsored by AIM at Melanoma and the California Society of Dermatology & Dermatological Surgery, SB 746 replaces the current law, which requires teens aged 14-17 years old to obtain parental permission to use a tanning bed.
Nearly 28 million individuals use tanning beds in the U.S. annually, of which 2.3 million are teens. Those who use tanning beds before the age of 20 double their risk of developing melanoma. Melanoma is the No. 1 cancer killer of young women between the ages of 25-30, and second only to breast cancer in women 30-34. Over 8,000 new cases of melanoma will be diagnosed in California in 2011.
Valerie Guild, president and founder of AIM at Melanoma, whose daughter died of melanoma at the age of 26, praised Governor Brown's decision to break new ground by signing SB 746 into law.
"This is a major victory in the fight against melanoma. It is alarming that so many young women are unnecessarily developing melanoma because of a recreational activity," said Guild. "We applaud Governor Brown for taking advantage of this unique opportunity to blaze a trail by banning minors from using tanning beds. We thank him for joining our fight against this preventable killer."
"Scientific research has shown conclusively that tanning beds cause skin cancer," said Senator Ted Lieu, who authored the bill in the Senate. “The younger kids are when they start using tanning beds, the greater the cumulative damage to their skin and the more likely they are to die of skin cancer.”
Governor Brown's signature makes the Golden State the first in the nation with such a ban. SB 746 will take effect January 1, 2012.
About AIM at Melanoma
AIM at Melanoma, founded in memory of Charlie Guild, who died of melanoma at the age of 26 and Jim Schlipmann, who died from the disease at 44, is the largest international melanoma foundation focused on melanoma research, patient advocacy, legislation, education and awareness. The foundation supports melanoma research efforts by hosting international research forums and is helping to create the first melanoma tissue bank, widely believed by the oncology community to be a key to major breakthroughs in melanoma research.
Because melanoma is the second most common cancer in 15-29 year olds and the rate of melanoma in young women 15-39 has increased 50 percent over the last 30 years, AIM at Melanoma supports and endorses the passage of the indoor tanning legislation restricting minors' access to tanning beds. For more information, visit www.AIMatMelanoma.org, the most comprehensive Web site available to the melanoma community and public at large.