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Bill Banning Teen Tanning Gaining Support

Jim McClean
Heartland Health Monitor

A bill that would prohibit minors from using commercial tanning beds that was stopped two years ago appears to be on its way to passing out of a Kansas House committee.

The bill appears to have the votes to pass out of the House Health and Human Services Committee despite testimony against it from Joseph Levy.

Levy is a lobbyist for the tanning industry. He says the American Cancer Society and other supporters of the bill are overstating the dangers of indoor tanning.

“The case that’s been made goes well beyond the facts," Levy says.

That’s not true, says Dr. Roy Jensen, the director of the University of Kansas Cancer Center. He says the research is clear.

“Indoor tanning causes cancer," he says. "There is no scientific dispute. There is no intelligent contradiction to that. And it’s a fact.”

Rep. Dan Hawkins is convinced. Two years ago he was opposed to the teen tanning ban. But the Wichita Republican says the evidence and powerful stories from cancer survivors have changed his mind.