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Governor signs law prohibiting indoor tanning by youth

New York State Department of Health

New York State now prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning booths. Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed the measure into law on Thursday following passage by the Legislature earlier this year.

The state had already barred anyone 16 or younger from tanning booths, which expose users to ultraviolet radiation and can increase the risk of skin cancer. Raising the minimum age for tanning booths has the support of the American Cancer Society, which says indoor tanning devices are particularly dangerous for young people who may not be aware of the risk.

The Cancer Society says indoor tanning before age 35 can increase the risk of melanoma 59 percent. In New York State this year alone, the society estimates almost 5,000 people will be diagnosed with melanoma.

"Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States with millions of cases being diagnosed annually. We wouldn’t encourage a young person to smoke and we shouldn’t allow them use indoor tanning devices as they both cause cancer," said society New York Government Relations Director Julie Hart. “The bottom line is indoor tanning devices are dangerous, particularly for the young. Ultraviolet radiation emitted from tanning devices is one of the most avoidable known risk factors for skin cancer."

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