DENVER (AP) — Colorado would lose its unusual status of having minimal limits on teenagers in tanning beds under a bill that passed its first test in the state House on Thursday.
A House committee approved the bill despite opposition not from the tanning industry, but from a raft of doctors and health advocates who said Colorado must ban artificial tanning entirely for people under 18.
Instead, the bill would ban minors under 15 from indoor tanning beds without a doctor's note. Teens 15 to 18 would need parental permission every six months. Colorado is one of the few states that don't restrict youth tanning bed use.
Several physicians and health advocates say the limits aren't enough.
"This bill does not go far enough to keep our adolescents safe," said Dr. Joe Chorny, head of the Colorado Dermatologic Society.
Similar opposition defeated last year's attempt. Rep. Cherilyn Peniston, who sponsored but withdrew that measure, urged her colleagues to take at least a small step toward limiting teen tanning bed use.
"We make sausage here, and I hope this is sausage we can swallow," said Peniston, D-Westminster.
Lawmakers in 25 other states are reviewing tighter restrictions on young people tanning, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.
The only opponent to any teen tanning bed limit was a Lakewood mom, Shelly LaPlant, who said it's her role as a parent to decide whether her children should tan, and that permission slips are intrusive.
"That is our choice," LePlant insisted.
Lawmakers ultimately sided with health advocates like Dr. Gregory Papadeas, a dermatologist who testified that teen limits are imperfect but a good first step.
"It will save lives, I guarantee you," Papadeas said.
The bill now moves to the full House for consideration.
Kristen Wyatt can be reached at http://www.twitter.com/APkristenwyatt .
House Bill 1215: http://bit.ly/15NhhhN