A bill to stop minors from using tanning beds passed the Nevada Senate on Monday, one step closer to becoming law.
"That's all this is about - it's protecting our children," said Stacey Escalante, who found herself in the middle of the indoor tanning debate - not by her own choice.
At age 34, she was diagnosed with Stage 3 melanoma.
"It was definitely because of my history of using tanning beds when I was a teenager," Escalante asserted.
Now cancer-free for eight years, Escalante is defending a bill in the state legislature that would set tighter regulations on tanning salons, including a ban on any customers under the age of 18.
Senate Bill 267 passed the Senate with a 17 to 4 vote, and is currently in the Assembly.
"Realistically, is it going to hurt my own business? No," said Roy Coronado, who owns Tan Las Vegas in Henderson.
However, he said, the concept is frustrating.
"There's no way to tell whether or not that person got skin cancer from outdoors or indoors, because the moment you walk outside, any study is debunked," Coronado said, referring to UV rays from the sun.
Coronado already doesn't take any customers younger than 16, and they still have to get a parent's signature.
Coronado believes it is the parents alone who should make the decision.
"Up until 18, if that parent wants them to go ahead and tan - whether it's UV, spray or outdoors, so be it," he said.
Any salon found to be in violation of the law, if passed, could face civil liability from parents. The first offense could force owners to pay $500 and up to $1,500 for subsequent offenses.
"We're not telling people what to do," Escalante said. "We're protecting children from something that's very deadly. Once you turn 18, have at it."
Similar bills failed in previous legislative sessions.
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