Governor Jay Inslee is expected to sign a bill that will make Washington State the sixth in the country that would prevent minors from using tanning beds, which has owners of local tanning salons, who rely on teen business, concerned.
Cindy Herring owns Jamaica Me Tan in Spokane Valley. Many of her clients are high school students and this legislation would stop most of them from tanning altogether.
"It's going to be difficult," she said.
Herring said she understands the health concerns but says educating young people is better than an all-out ban and that a better solution would be to regulate tanning for minors.
"Many other states have addressed, okay we need to have the signatures of children who are under 18 tanning and I agree with that, that's not going to hurt our business. It's going to let mom know that we're safe, it's going to let mom know the rules, the teenager know the rules, and that's the best thing you can do. Through education it's about safe tanning not risky tanning," she explained.
If the bill is passed Herring could face a $250 fine per violation if she lets a minor tan in her facilities. The only way a minor would be able to do so legally is if they have a doctor's note.
"I don't think it's necessary because I don't think it makes a whole lot of difference whether you're under 18 or over 18," Lindsay Moorhead, 17, said.
Moorhead said she has been tanning for about a year now. She and her friend Kaylee Hillheim say they have never seen any negative side effects from tanning.
"I just knew to keep a limit so I didn't overdo it," Hillheim said.
The two agree with salon owner Herring that it's all about being responsible and educated. They say without the tanning salons, teens will just go to unsupervised alternatives.
"There are apartment complexes and gyms there are other outlets," Hillheim said.
Herring believes these other outlets are lacking the most important quality: Safety.
"I believe in having a safe business. If I'm going to have it I believe in having it be safe," she said.
If Inslee signs the bill into law it will go into effect in June.