House Bill 188, co-sponsored by Senate Minority Leader Christine Radogno (R-Lemont) and Robyn Gabel (D-Evanston), prohibits all minors under the age of 18 from using UV tanning booths and equipment. Currently, minors ages 14 to 17 are allowed to tan if they provide a parent's signature.
Radogno said in a press release that she introduced the bill to protect Illinois minors from the serious health risks involved with indoor tanning beds.
“I’m proud to say that Illinois is a leader in the ongoing fight against skin cancer,” Radogno said. “When science and health care experts proved indoor tanning is a known carcinogen shown to increase the chance of melanoma by 75 percent for people under 35, I felt an obligation to sponsor this legislation. This bill will not only save lives, but hopefully educate parents and kids about the serious dangers associated with indoor tanning beds.”
Spray-on tanning is exempt from the legislation, as is phototherapy, which applies to situations where a physician supervises tanning when it is necessary to treat a medical condition.
Illinois joins California and Vermont as the only states in the country with an outright ban on tanning for minors under the age of 18.
Quinn also signed legislation Thursday that prohibits anyone under the age of 18 from using electronic cigarettes and other alternative nicotine products.
Senate Bill 1756, sponsored by Rep. Kathleen Willis (D-Addison) and Sen. John Mulroe (D-Chicago), was introduced to combat America's most common form of chemical dependence, nicotine.
“Nicotine has been proven to be a harmful and addictive substance,” Mulroe said. “We ban children from purchasing it in all of its other forms. This law just helps us keep up with the advancements in the ways it is being sold.”
Quinn said both new laws reflect his commitment to protecting and improving the health of people in Illinois.
“I am signing these new laws today so that our youth and their families can be spared the consequences of very serious and preventable health problems that are caused by dangerous habits formed at a young age," Quinn said. "Together these measures will protect the health of Illinois youth and save lives in the long-run.”
The bans will go into effect Jan. 1, 2014.