Staffer shares opinion on new tanning bed law

After Texas doctors voiced their concern for tanning teenagers’ skin health, a new set of laws were developed that went into effect September 1. Under the new law, anyone under 18 will not be allowed in a tanning bed, even if they have parental permission.

This law should be reevaluated by the Texas government. The implementation of this law oversteps our government’s implied powers.

The idea behind this law is that teens should not be allowed to use a tanning bed because of the health problems that may occur after frequent use. This is a good point, and the health issues that may come with tanning should definitely be known by teens before they decide to tan. Hopefully after being educated about the things that can happen to one’s body after they tan, a teenager would decide to simply get a spray tan. Sadly, that is not how a teenager’s mind works. We tend to disregard the consequences of our actions until we are staring at them face to face. However, I believe this law takes it too far.

The state government has both constitutional powers and implied powers. Nothing about the way our country is founded or has been run at any point in time says that the state government can control the cosmetic affairs of citizens. Although the logic behind this law is sound, forbidding something on the chance that a consequence MAY happen is not the most efficient way to deal with a problem.

People who support this law believe that this will prevent teens from facing health problems that follow tanning. However, as with any law regarding age limits, if a teen really wants to use a tanning bed, they will find a friend who has one or a business that doesn’t check the age limit. This isn’t what people want to believe, but it is simply the truth about teenagers (as proven with tattoo restrictions, etc). A more logical approach would be to encourage parents to educate their teens and rather than completely eliminate the option of tanning beds, require parental permission.

In conclusion, this law should be reevaluated as it is too harsh of a response to the issue at hand. A more sound and less disruptive idea would be to require teens to have parental permission before they enter a tanning bed.