Neighborhoods

“Tanorexia” Not Just a Jersey Problem — New York’s Melanoma Rate Climbs 72-Percent In 10 Years

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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.