Proposed bill would bar teens from tanning beds

By Jena Johnson - bio | email

LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Lori Droll tans in a tanning bed everyday. "I don't like to look pasty white," said Lori Droll.

Droll said she has been tanning since high school. "I remember you know when I was younger that was a really important thing, you know to have a really nice tan for prom or whatever it was," said Droll.

Not much has changed. "A lot of people that tan are 18 and under, a lot of my friends that tan for prom and for weddings and just to be tan," said Jessica McRae, uses a tanning bed.

A proposed bill would ban anyone 16.5 years old and younger from using a tanning bed. The bill is one-step away from passing, all it needs is governor Rick Perry's signature. Droll said this bill has gone too far. "I just think it's a little ridiculous that again the government is trying to step-in and tell parents how to raise their children," said Droll.

"That's one of our freedoms is what I think, and that's trying to control us a little too much," said McRae. One that she wants to hold onto.

"It would make people more healthy, but not much happier because they would not appreciate not being able to tan because girls, especially teenage girls, we want to look pretty," said McRae.

From a teens' eyes, McRae said a golden tan is what she thinks the world sees as beautiful.  "You picture  tan, skinny girls in like bikinis because that's what they have in magazines," said McRae.

McRae said the health dangers of tanning cross her mind...sometimes. "That's a long way off," she said laughing.

Droll said her high school years are over, but her tanning days are not. "I think I look healthier with a little color," said Droll.

If the bill passes, those between 16.5 and 18 would need written parental consent to tan. Governor Perry has until June 21 to decide whether to sign or veto the bill.