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Voice of the people: Betty Armstreet Sparrow




Tanning legislation deserves consideration 


This year, hundreds of Mississippians will be diagnosed with melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. For some of these patients their cancer could likely have been prevented by avoiding tanning devices. 


Tanning devices have been scientifically proven to increase a person's risk for melanoma. In fact, those who use the devices before age 35 are 59 percent more likely to get the disease, and risks are even higher for those who use tanning devices before age 25. 


The risk associated with UV exposure is cumulative, which is why legislation introduced in the Mississippi Legislature prohibiting the use of indoor tanning devices for those under 18 is so important. 


Most teens are considering peer pressure and prom, not melanoma and chemotherapy, when they decide to enter a tanning device. They need to know the long-term risks and need to be adults before making such an important decision. 


We don't let teens smoke cigarettes, so why would we let them use a tanning device? 


We thank the Senate for passing this legislation that now goes to the House. I urge our Mississippi Representatives to see the worth of a little prevention now in saving numerous lives later. Please pass the teen tanning legislation. 


Betty Armstreet Sparrow 


American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) volunteer 


West Point



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