Bill proposes ban on teenagers using tanning beds


by Eric Kane, 13News

Posted on February 5, 2013 at 6:57 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 5 at 8:02 PM

VIRGINIA BEACH-- Legislation targeting teens and tanning beds is working its way through the General Assembly and is a hot button issue here in Hampton Roads.

The bill would amend a previous law, making it illegal for kids under the age of 14 to use tanning beds, because of potential health risks.

"I find the bill obnoxious, I feel that it is an egregious overstep of the role of government," said Waverly Woods, owner of Copa Cabana tanning salon.

Woods owns three tanning salons in Hampton Roads.

As head of the Virginia Beach's Tea Party chapter, Woods is heavily active in politics and says the bill could create more litigation for small businesses.

"It takes all of the responsibility from the parent who should have the responsibility.  It takes it off of them and puts the entire onus on small business. That is unconstitutional, that is not right!"

The legislation would also require written permission from parents before a 15, 16, or 17-year-old could jump into a tanning bed.

Some 15-year-olds told 13News they had no problem with the proposed law.

"I just feel like it is bad for your skin and I personally feel like it's going to ruin their life, with skin cancer and problems," said Laura Averrett.

While Woods is prepared to defend her trade, she does not endorse tanning for everyone.

"Some people can't tan, shouldn't tan, and they have to use their personal responsibility in managing their own lives."

The bill is now crossed over to the House and is being considered in the Commerce and Labor committee.