At Doug’s Electra Beach Debbie Clement says nearly half of their business comes from teens under the age of 18. But a pair of proposals from Chicago Democrats could pull the plug on a large number of Clement’s clients by banning all teen tanning.
“Tanning is seasonal we get more people in the spring with more people going on spring break so at that point I’d guess that 40 percent would be a fair guess,” says Clement.
There are currently two bills before the Illinois House of Representatives that would ban anyone under 18 from tanning. Right now a minor must have parental consent to tan in Illinois. In the last year and half the State of Illinois has passed a 10% tax on all tanning services and salon owners say if this ban goes through it’ll take an even bigger bite out of business.
“It’s a double whammy, where they want to tax us but take our business away so how can we afford the 10% tan tax if they take our business away,” says Clement.
A concern over an increased risk of skin cancer is the reasoning behind the proposed ‘Tan Ban.’ But Clement says her business is regulated by the state health department and if the ban is passed Illinois teens won’t stop tanning, they’ll just go outside instead.
“It’s going to be an uncontrolled environment, people are going to be burning a lot more because they don’t have the base tan this is more of a controlled atmosphere, it’s all regulated,” says Clement.
She adds that it’s concerning that they state wants to ban roughly 40% of her clients, saying this it’s a government intrusion and another sign Illinois is becoming a nanny-state.
“I don’t feel that it’s constitutional I feel that as long as the parents sign a parent consent it’s between the parent and the child not the government.”
The teen tan ban has passed out of Illinois’ Human Services Committee and is now awaiting debate on the House floor.