AUGUSTA, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- The Maine State Senate has approved a bill that would ban teens 18 and younger from indoor tanning facilities.
It was a close vote, with party lines split down the middle.
Republicans say LD 272: An Act To Reduce Youth Cancer takes the responsibility from the parents and gives it to the government.
Democrats say since science now links ultraviolet rays in tanning beds to skin cancer, this bill is no different than putting an age restriction on cigarettes or alcohol.
According to a 2011 Maine integrated youth health survey, 16.4% of Maine high school students had reported using an indoor tanning device in the last 12 months.
Studies show that overexposure in a tanning device can lead to melanoma. The National Cancer Institute says in 2010 the cost of melanoma treatment in the U-S was around $3.6-billion; a health issue, argue Democrats. Republicans don't disagree, but feel it's a choice families should be able to make, not the legislature.
The bill passed 19-16. It now moves on to the Governor's desk.