Tanning bed in use

A tanning bed in use is seen in this 2008 photo. Image by Flickr user Evil Erin, used via Creative Commons license

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HELENA — Lawmakers in Helena will consider a bill that would keep children under the age of 18 from using tanning beds.

Sen. Roger Webb, R-Billings, who’s carrying Senate Bill 133, says he feels strongly enough about a rise of skin cancer cases that people need to stop and look at tanning bed use, and he said his bill could help with that.

“Do parents let a 16 year-old smoke cigarettes? Some do,” Webb said. “Are you going to let a 16-year-old drink? Some do. But just because the law is there, some don’t,” Webb said.

Under the bill, tanning beds could still be used by minors for prescribed medical use.

Similar bills died last legislative session. Rep. Ellie Hill Smith, D-Missoula, carried a House bill that would require parental consent to use a tanning bed, and Senator Webb carried essentially the same bill in the Senate.

The Senate Public Health, Welfare and Safety Committee will hear public testimony on SB 133 Monday afternoon.

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Cole Grant is a reporter with the UM Legislative News Service, a partnership of the University of Montana School of Journalism, the Montana Broadcasters Association and the Greater Montana Foundation.

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