"Tanorexia" Not Just a Jersey Problem -- New York's Melanoma Rate Climbs 72-Percent In 10 Years

As "tanning mom" Patricia Krentcil's 15 minutes appear to be winding down, the fact that the New Jersey mom allegedly took her 5-year-old daughter tanning continues to impact public policy.

On Monday, dubbed "Melanoma Monday" in New Jersey by the American Cancer Society, public health advocates lobbied state legislators to pass a bill that would ban anyone under 18 years old from using tanning beds. Now, they're doing the same in New York, where they say melanoma rates have jumped 72-percent in the last 10 years.

"It's no coincidence that we're facing a melanoma crisis at the same time there's a proliferation of indoor tanning salons," Russ Sciandra, New York director of advocacy for the American Cancer Society of NY & NJ. "Indoor tanning increases risk of developing cancer. Many teens don't see their behavior as dangerous and many parents don't fully understand what's at stake."

Sciandra is urging state lawmakers to pass a bill that would place a ban -- similar to the one proposed in New Jersey -- on kids under 18 using indoor tanning devices.

The bill (S.2917) is sponsored by Senator Charles Fuschillo and already has passed in the Assembly, where it's sponsored by Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg. According to the ACC, the bill has the support of leaders in the medical community, such as the Medical Society of the State of New York, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, The Cancer Center Leadership Group of the New York State Cancer Consortium, the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics.

The group says similar laws have been enacted in California and Vermont.

While another New York law designed to protect citizens from themselves seems about par for the course for the Empire State, it wouldn't be necessary if parents just did their job and kept kids out of tanning booths.

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