According to a recent report from the Associated Press, the state of California is considering banning teens from tanning beds.
Youth under the age of 14 are already banned from artificially tanning in California, and teens under the age of 18 must have parental permission. However, State Senator Ted Lieu argues that the mandate is still not strict enough. Therefore, a ban is being proposed to “protect teens” from tanning.
The war against tanning beds heated up when the Obama Administration made a last-minute decision to tax tanning as a part of the new health care law. The decision, disguised as an attempt to limit tanning and promote public health, was really just a strategy to help fund a massive expansion of government into the health care market.
According to the FDA, 30 million Americans visit tanning salons annually, 2.3 of them teenagers. That adds up to a nice 2.7 billion dollar cushion for the health care overhaul. By disallowing teens to tan, the government is actually taking away financial support for Obamacare for which costs have already begun to exceed estimates.
While teens should not be encouraged to “fake and bake,” Americans still deserve the right to choose for themselves. Because they are minors, this issue then becomes a question of limiting parental choice.
The mandate would also put small businesses at financial risk in an already fragile economy. As quoted by the AP:
“There are now 878 tanning businesses in California. In areas where teens do a lot of tanning like college towns or affluent areas…the legislation could mean a 10 percent hit to tanning salons’ income.”
Consequently, this loss in income could result in closed businesses, which means additional unemployed Americans.
These bans rarely reap the broad health or societal benefits that they aim to fix. So called “sin” items, like tanning salons, may be harmful in excess, but that doesn’t mean government should be in the business of “nannying” everyone’s personal behavior.
Here’s a look at other things that are banned by governments in America:
- You cannot pump your own gas in New Jersey or Oregon
- You cannot swim without a life vest in Washington
- Plastic bags are banned in Los Angeles County, California
- Soda is banned from being sold in vending machines on city property in San Francisco
- New fast food chains are banned from opening in Southern Los Angeles neighborhoods
- The EPA approved a ban of dry cleaning solvent in California
- A federal mandate bans flavored cigarettes
- A bill in Nevada, if passed, will ban air fresheners and candles from public places