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Joyner lobbies state tanning bed bill
A local woman is hoping the General Assembly will pass a bill that bans those under 18 from using tanning beds.

Dale Joyner, of Nashville, joined an advocacy team associated with the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network last Wednesday. The group is opposed to young people using tanning beds. A bill went before the Regulatory Committee and was approved. The bill will now be sent for a vote by the House.

House Bill 18, The Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act, would protect children from the dangers of skin cancer by restricting children under the age of 18 from indoor tanning facilities in North Carolina.

Currently, only children under 14 are banned from using tanning beds, unless they have a physician’s prescription. Youth 14 to 17 must have parent’s permission.

Under the law, there would be no exceptions for those under 18.

The bill will likely take a week or more to get to the House floor.

Joyner said  using tanning beds is directly related to melanoma. Last year in North Carolina, there were over 2,300 new cases of melanoma.

“A majority of those people were direct users of tanning beds,” Joyner said.

Joyner said last week in Raleigh, doctors agreed that overexposure caused melanoma.

“All across the board, we had every medical doctor, every dermatologist, saying overexposures to rays causes melanoma,” she said.

Joyner said parents and teenagers alike do not know the hazards associated with tanning beds.

“They want something quick and easy,” she said. “This culture today is about instant gratification.”

“I think there has to be regulations in place,” Joyner added. “I think there has be to be stricter guidelines to protect the children.”

“We’re seeing too many young people facing the words, “You have melanoma.””

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