Tanning Ban Unpopular Among Many

June 6, 2011 Updated Jun 6, 2011 at 11:35 PM EDT

By WKBW Internet

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June 6, 2011 Updated Jun 6, 2011 at 11:35 PM EDT

BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) - A bill that would ban indoor tanning for minors under the age of 18 was passed in the New York State Assembly this week.

It's a move that is applauded by the American Cancer Society, but one that concerns tanning salon owners and high school students.

New York State already bans indoor tanning for anyone under 14, and requires parental consent from age 15 to 18.

For many salons, the months between January and June are often the busiest, and minors comprise a good portion of many salon's customers.

Lancaster High School student Shannon Ponitz stopped into The Tanning Bed on Transit Road in Lancaster Monday as she prepares for her upcoming prom.

"I would be mad, I mean if you can drive and everything why couldn't you tan," said Ponitz.

The American Cancer Society, citing reports that put indoor tanning in the same category as mustard gas and arsenic, called on the State Senate Monday to move forward with the passing of the bill.

Donald Distasio, CEO of the American Cancer Society of NY and NJ released the following statement:

"It's time for the Senate to make New York a leader and protect kids from this cancer-causer by passing a bill that bans indoor tanning for minors now."

However the bill will likely see opposition in the Senate from people like Senator Mark Grisanti, who says he does not support the ban.

"There is already a ban on fourteen and under and they have to have permission up to 18....I think that's sufficient."

More concerning for Grisanti is the effect it could have on business and job growth.

"If you talk to a proprietor, they're going to lose business. They are going to end up shutting some of the businesses and store-fronts and people will start losing jobs," said Grisanti.

Salon owners argue that new technology provides tanning options that actually help to reduce the effects of traditional tanning, and that an all-out ban on minors would significantly hurt their customer base.

The Senate has not yet set a date to vote on the ban.