On Sunday, Governor Jerry Brown officially banned anyone younger than 18 from using tanning beds. It will be effective no January 1, 2012.
Texas has already banned the use of tanning beds by children younger than 16, and 30 other states have some kind of age restriction in place, Reuters reported. California's is the strongest state-wide restriction in place, though in some countries, like Brazil, tanning beds are banned altogether.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has long maintained that tanning beds are harmful to children and teenagers. The ultraviolet radiation emitted by some tanning beds can be as much as 10 to 15 times higher than those from the sun during the hottest part of a summer day. All that extra UV radiation massively increases one's risk of skin cancer—especially if the exposure starts when you're young.
“Many parents may not be aware that melanoma is the most common skin cancer in children, followed by basal cell and squamous cell carcinomas," Dr. Thomas Rohrer, Secretary of the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, said earlier this year. "Only six severe sunburns in a lifetime increase risk of melanoma by 50 percent."
A May 2010 study published in the journal of the American Association for Cancer Research found that participants who used tanning beds had a 74 percent greater risk of developing melanoma than those who never tanned indoors.
Sources: various, including Yahoo