Friday, May 9, 2014

tanning police...

the laws are rapidly changing across the US... states are determining that tanning beds CAN be deadly... one of the statistics i see a lot is that indoor tanning before age 35 increases your risk of melanoma by 75%... so it is a good thing that regulations are being put into place for kids' safety... i know some people think it isn't necessary... but it really is. i heard a story about a girl whose mom took her to a local tanning salon on the same saturday i was participating in the dallas AIM at Melanoma Walk... the girl was 14 yrs old, her mom signed permission to fry her child... which is actually illegal here in TX. you are not supposed to be allowed to tan until you are 18 yrs of age, like smoking cigarettes... would you buy your child smokes at 14 yrs old? wake up people- it is the same thing!!! my dad was 3 yrs old when he started smoking cigarettes... and drinking black coffee with truckers (grandparents owned a truck stop)... why? because back then cigarettes didn't come with warning labels... no one knew how bad they were for you... the warning labels came out when my dad was 5 yrs old... but he had already smoked for 2 yrs at that point... his parents still tried to make him quit, he didn't... he finally quit about 20 yrs ago... after he lost his father to lung cancer, and mother to emphysema... my point is we are educating people on the dangers of indoor tanning- or tanning period, but it is still relatively new... we need to continue educating... we also need to do whatever we can to stop the businesses that are profiting on our health... cigarettes now have so many taxes it is ridiculous... but it worked to cause many former smokers to quit. maybe we should tax tanning salons like cigarettes... then use that money to police them. i reported the salon i heard about allowing a 14 yr old to tan with parental consent... i was kinda sad to find out the only punishment will be a strong worded letter and threat of a fine if they continue. the gentleman i spoke with was very nice and understanding why i was so upset... but that does not save anyone... he did say that if upon investigation they find the salon has been serving many minors the punishment could be more severe... well, that is a start... but it leads me to believe that the only way these businesses will ever learn is if we act as the tanning police... which quite frankly sucks. i have never been the type to snitch... but under these circumstances i felt it was justified, even necessary. if i had known all of my outdoor time, spent worshiping the sun in as little clothing as possible (cut offs and tank tops), would lead to a melanoma diagnosis than i would have been more cautious... i will be 35 yrs old in less than a month... and my journey with melanoma started 3yrs ago... i would not wish anyone to have to live with the constant anxiety and fear i do... or to have to endure any treatment- whether it is the interferon i did... or one of the many other treatments currently approved or being tested...

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