Support youth tanning ban in New Hampshire House

To the Editor:

As a cancer survivor, I know the pain and fear that come along with a cancer diagnosis. I want to ensure that as few people as possible have to endure what I have been through.

As a physician, I know prevention is key when it comes to lowering rates of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. Our representatives in Concord have a chance to make a real impact by supporting a bill – HB 1351 – to keep kids younger than 18 safe from the deadly UV damage of indoor tanning.

As prom season approaches and teens think about how they’ll look for their big night, many of them will put their lives at risk. Around one-third of high school senior girls tan indoors, which increases the chance they will receive a cancer diagnosis in the future. Using tanning devices before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma by 59 percent.

The House will soon be voting on this bill in Concord. Our state representatives have an opportunity to save lives by prohibiting kids younger than 18 from indoor tanning. We already protect teens from deadly cigarettes because they cause cancer.

I urge my elected officials to do the same with indoor tanning.