Oklahoma state legislators propose ban on underage tanning
TULSA, Okla. (KTUL) -- Should teenagers in Oklahoma be allowed to use tanning beds?
Some state legislators don’t think so.
Baja Beach Club in Tulsa has been around since 1995.
The owner says forbidding teens from tanning isn’t right.
Instead, she believes better education on the issue is what’s needed.
If you come in for a tan at Baja Beach Club you should expect a lesson on tanning from Eloise Cox.
“You don’t go the full time, you come in and you start slowly building up," said Cox.
She doesn’t allow her clients to tan more than once a day and only every other day.
But Senate Bill 765, a proposal in the state legislature to ban underage tanning, could spell disaster for her Tulsa store.
“[They’re] doing everything in [their] power to try and shut us down," said Cox.
Cox claims she already requires parents to sign off for their teens to tan.
She believes the children coming in benefit from tanning before heading outside.
“We’re not saying stay out of the sun, they’re just saying they can’t get in a tanning bed, well I don’t see there’s any difference personally," said Cox.
Neither do customers coming in, getting ready for warm months ahead.
“I think I look better tan," said customer Darlene Rodriguez.
Rodriguez has been tanning for more than 25 years.
She says she has a 9-year-old granddaughter she would allow to tan, which is why she’s strongly against the proposal.
“Because they’re taking away our choice, or our children’s choice," said Rodriguez.
Cox believes if underage tanning passes, it could put an end to her business.
One she’s working hard to keep open for her many clients.
“We tend to go to extremes, lets just cut it out completely; well why don’t we spend some time educating our youth," said Cox.
Cox says new customers start out tanning for just a few minutes and work up to longer sessions.
Cox says the underage ban has failed in the legislature the last few years.
The bill has so far been approved in February by the Health and Human Services committee.