For Immediate Release - February 05, 2016

Governor Baker Signs Legislation to Reduce Minors’ Risk for Skin Cancer

Enacted law raises minimum age for use of tanning facilities to eighteen

BOSTON – Governor Charlie Baker today signed legislation (S 1994) to reduce the risk for skin cancer among minors by increasing the minimum age for the use or operating of tanning facilities to eighteen years old. During consideration of the bill, medical associations including Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, American Cancer Society, Melanoma Foundation of New England, Children’s Melanoma Prevention Foundation and the families of skin cancer victims Glenna Kohl and Jay Farley testified in support of its passage.

“With the number of minors diagnosed with skin cancer on the rise across Massachusetts and the nation, this legislation takes a critical step towards increasing awareness and protecting our most vulnerable,” said Governor Baker. “I thank the legislature for their attention to this important issue to protect the health and ensure the safety of youth throughout the Commonwealth.”

"Today's signing of legislation to limit minors' use of tanning beds is the culmination of 10 years of work to help protect the children of the Commonwealth from a known carcinogen," said Senator Jim Timilty (D-Walpole). "The hope is that this new law will help diminish the prevalence of skin cancer in young people. I'm grateful to the Kohl and Farley families for sharing their stories and joining me in this fight." 

“This legislation is about protecting young people from carcinogenic UV rays that we know cause cancer,” said Representative Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge). “I am proud to have worked on legislation that will help save lives and want to thank Governor Baker for signing this into law."