Spokane residents react to tanning bill




Posted on March 12, 2014 at 8:27 PM

Updated Friday, Mar 14 at 10:29 PM

SPOKANE, Wash--  Spokane business owners and residents reacted to a bill passed by the Senate Tuesday that would prohibit minors from using tanning beds.

One teenager, 16-year-old Jordyn Eakins, recently signed up for a tanning membership at Coconutz Tanning Spa in Spokane Valley. She said she was just looking for a healthy glow.
“I don’t really plan on doing it again, so I haven’t really thought of the consequences,” Eakins said.
If passed by Governor Jay Inslee, the bill would require a prescription from doctors for teenagers to use tanning beds.  It would also fine tanning salons that do not comply.
Advanced dermatology surgeon, Joel Sears, said tanning beds put users at a 75% increased risk for developing skin cancer and that he had seen the damage first hand.
 “Whenever you have a tan that does mean you have some sort of cellular damage in the skin already,” he said. “Unfortunately, we equate tan with health.”
Sears said there were some benefits to UV light exposure. He said, in multiple cases, he used controlled light therapy for conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
The owner of Coconutz Tanning Spa, Traci Steenberger, said she disagreed with lawmakers.
I think it's a silly, silly law,” she said. “Parents should be able to decide. If it's my child I definitely want to make that decision for myself.”
Steenberger said she required parental consent waivers for minors and offered spray tans as an alternative to traditional beds.