TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Minors looking for a tan may soon need to turn to the sun as the Senate committee, on Tuesday, approved a bill that would bar them from using tanning beds at tanning facilities.

Pointing to concerns about skin cancer, the Senate Health Policy Committee voted 6-2 to approve the measure (SB 572), which was sponsored by Sen. Eleanor Sobel, D-Hollywood.

Sobel, whose husband is dermatologist, and other supporters said tanning beds can cause melanoma—a potentially deadly form of skin cancer.

Chris Nuland, a lobbyist for the Florida Society of Plastic Surgeons, said his group’s members, who treat melanoma patients, support the bill.

“This is one plastic-surgery procedure that they no longer want to do,” Nuland said.

Under current law, minors who are 14 or older can visit tanning facilities with their parents’ consent. Children under 14 must be accompanied by their parents.

The bill would place a prohibition on visits by minors, except if physicians prescribe the visits to treat medical conditions.

Committee Chairman Aaron Bean, R-Fernandina Beach, and Sen. Jeff Brandes, R-St. Petersburg, voted against the bill. The House version (HB 499), filed by Rep. Elaine Schwartz, D-Hollywood, has not been heard in committees — making it unlikely to pass during this spring’s legislative session.

The News Service of Florida contributed to this report.


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