Ban on youth tanning will save lives

To the Editor:

Recently, among a local newspaper’s coverage of the record-setting snow and cold, I came across an article touting the benefits of indoor tanning as a method to “beat the winter blues.” As a cancer survivor and family physician, this immediately raised a red flag. What the article fails to mention is that tanning device use before age 35 increases an individual’s lifetime risk of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, by 59 percent.

The good news is that recently, the New Hampshire House of Representatives voted to support legislation which would prohibit access to cancer-causing UV indoor tanning devices by minors under the age of 18.

I encourage Sen. Sanborn to support this legislation when it is considered in the Senate Health and Human Services Committee and all senators to support it when it heads to the Senate floor. No matter how cold the weather, it’s not worth “beating the blues” by exposure to cancer causing UV radiation, and this legislation will help ensure New Hampshire’s youth are protected from the dangers of indoor tanning.

Carolyn Claussen