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New law effective Sunday: Indoor tanning prohibited for those under 18

By Cassandra Webb, cwebb@ktxs.com
Published On: Dec 24 2013 03:36:41 AM CST
Updated On: Aug 28 2013 06:16:56 PM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Beginning Sunday, if you're under 18 years old, a new Texas law will not allow you to tan indoors.

Experts in affected industries, who asked to be anonymous, weighed in.

"I totally disagree with it," said a former tanning salon owner. "The parents should be the one with the final say, not the state or government. It makes it where these young girls are now going to go out in the sun and really do more damage because there is no control." 

Dr. Jose Vega – with Hendrick Cancer Center – has a different opinion.

"Anything that makes young people healthier and protect their futures, I think is a good initiative," Vega said. "Tanning beds do increase the risk of melanoma, which is a very aggressive type of skin cancer."

According to Vega, even tanning in moderation is risky.

"I'm not sure that there's a middle ground there, especially for young people in view of the recent data," Vega said.

The new law could have adverse affects on the tanning industry.

"I personally predict with that impact, that we're going to see a lot of tanning salons probably have to close their doors," the former tanning salon owner said.

We contacted nine different tanning businesses in Abilene; each one was either unavailable or refused to comment.