Tanning bill is overreach by State

Iowa lawmakers are heading to the drawing boards to outline a potential tanning ban for persons under the age of 18. Currently there are 33 states that regulate or ban tanning for minors, or peoples under the age of 18. This includes age, parental permission or accompaniment, or the specifics of indoor or outdoor tanning. All these restrictions originate from health risks, specifically cancer.

Though this may have a lot of support from people over the age of 18, expect some outrage from so called “minors.” In this day and age, the youth are very concerned about appearances. Though that is a sad truth, it’s a truth nonetheless. Pale, dead-looking skin isn’t what looks good, so many resort to tanning. Though many may not tan, it is not the job of the naysayers to ban such innocent acts as tanning.

A term comes to mind when writing about this: nanny state. That refers to a state or government who takes unnecessary steps and bounds, usually stepping over liberties and reason to keep the people “safe.” No, amendment number 10 isn’t, “It is the right of the people to decide if they want to tan, without interaction from the state,” but it is another intervention from the state to tell people what they can and cannot do.

Now addressing the age thing. Who decided that “children” under the age of 18 had limited rights? Who made this arbitrary line in time in which you magically become an adult. One minute you are 17, with limited rights and subject to your parents’ will, and the next you’re 18, free to do whatever and dumped with all these responsibilities, and, oh yeah, you now have all your rights. Who decided this? Doesn’t it seem silly that a state can dictate what a person under this arbitrary line in time can and cannot do?

Children, or people under the age of 18, are human, not subhuman. They have every right an adult has, with exceptions to drinking and smoking, and should not be squashed by the state for wanting to look a certain way.

There’s a real hypocrisy in this. You would have to be 18 to tan, a procedure that may lead to skin damage, possibly cancer if you’re extremely irresponsible and an intense tanner, but you can drive a car, which is not only dangerous to you but possibly other people if you’re irresponsible. There are a lot of things people under 18 can do that are potentially harmful if not used correctly. Yes, tanning has been shown that it can be harmful, but caffeine is also harmful if the person using it is irresponsible. The use of supplements can also be potentially harmful.

There is a myriad of things that could harm a teen, but it comes down to liberty. This is another example of the state bringing down another heavy hand on liberties. Where do we draw the line between personal responsibility and relying on the Nanny State to take care of us?

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