City Council to Tackle Threat of Indoor Tanning

Vacca, Crowley, The Skin Cancer Foundation announce three bills warning consumers of cancer risk, banning youth discounts

On Sunday, June 27, Council Members James Vacca and Elizabeth Crowley will join The Skin Cancer Foundation and other anti-tanning bed activists to announce legislation designed to discourage New Yorkers from using indoor tanning beds, a major contributor to rising skin cancer rates.

The Vacca-Crowley legislation, to be introduced in the City Council on June 30, would ensure consumers are aware of the risks of indoor tanning, and discourage tanning by young people, by:

  • Requiring salons to post signs stating that indoor tanning increases the risk for skin cancer.
  • Prohibiting salons from offering student discounts or promotions aimed at young people.
  • Prohibiting salons from promoting indoor tanning as un-harmful or non-carcinogenic.

Indoor tanning has faced growing scrutiny worldwide. The World Health Organization last July placed tanning beds in its highest risk category for cancer, "carcinogenic to humans," ranking it among cigarette smoke and arsenic. In March, an FDA advisory panel recommended stricter tanning bed regulations and a possible ban on youth tanning. A recent study showed that indoor tanners are 74% more likely to develop melanoma than those who have never tanned indoors.

Governments are also beginning to act. A 10% tanning tax that Congress included in last year's landmark health care bill goes into effect July 1, and the New York State Legislature is strongly considering the nation's first 18-and-under ban on indoor tanning. The Vacca-Crowley legislation focuses on regulations the City has the authority to enact independently.

WHO: Council Member James Vacca

Council Member Elizabeth Crowley

Joshua Zeichner, MD, educational spokesperson, The Skin Cancer Foundation

Elizabeth Robins, Esq., Senior Vice President, The Skin Cancer Foundation

Jonah Eller-Isaacs, melanoma activist, anti-tanning advocate, and blogger

WHERE: The Skin Cancer Foundation

149 Madison Avenue (at E. 32nd Street)

New York, NY

WHEN: Sunday, June 27, 2010, at 9:30 am