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Tanning Salons Targeted for Allowing Underage Teens to Tan

12:51 PM, Jun 9, 2011   |    comments
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BUFFALO, N.Y. -- The local advocacy director the American Cancer Society conducted an experiment to see if underage teens would be allowed in local tanning salons, in an effort to highlight the importance of raising the legal age to tan.

Hillary Clarke took four 14-and15-year-olds to 16 different tanning salons to see if they could buy a tanning package, despite their age.  Clarke says, of the 15 salons they went to, teens gained access to a tanning session 3 times -- all of which were at "Tanning Bed" salons.

Clarke says she went to 6 independent salons, three Total Tan salons and six "Tanning Bed" salons.  Clarke says when the underage girl was able to buy a tanning session in a Southtowns "Tanning Bed" location, she then wanted to see if it would happen again, and went back the next day, with a new student volunteer, to a Northtowns "Tanning Bed" store.

Dan Humiston, the owner of the "Tanning Bed" salons and the National President of the Indoor Tanning Association says, he has not seen proof of the alleged breach of procedure in the stores and has not been contacted by the American Cancer Society with their information.

Humiston says he's used to be targeted by advocacy groups and says if the bill currently in the Senate passes, it would devastate his business.

A bill to raise the legal age to indoor tan passed the New York State Assembly last week but Clarke says, there are a select group of Western New York delegates that do not support the bill.  Clarke wants to take the information she gathered to local representatives in hopes that they will change their minds.

It's important to note that while 3 underage volunteers were able to gain access to a tanning session, the current law and execution of the law worked more than 75 percent of the time.

Click on the video link below to see Marissa Bailey's report and hear from both parties in this debate.

WGRZ-TV

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