Archives: KHI News Service

On January 1, 2017, the KHI News Service became part of KCUR public radio’s new initiative, the Kansas News Service. The Kansas News Service will continue to cover health policy news and broaden its scope to include education and politics. All stories produced by the former KHI News Service are archived here. Stories and photos may be republished at no cost with proper attribution and a link back to

Legislature passes indoor tanning ban for minors

Unless governor vetoes bill, tanning salons barred from serving patrons under 18

By Andy Marso | April 30, 2016

The Kansas Legislature passed a bill Saturday banning tanning salons from serving minors, a measure advocates say will reduce cancer.

Free-market advocates had pushed for an amendment allowing tanning for customers under 18 with parental permission. But the House and Senate ultimately voted to join a dozen other states and Washington, D.C., in banning it completely.

Unless Gov. Sam Brownback vetoes the measure, it will become law as soon as it is published in the state statutes book.

The Kansas Board of Cosmetology would have the authority to issue a $250 fine for each violation.

Hilary Gee is the Kansas government relations director for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network

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Hilary Gee, the Kansas government relations director for the American Cancer Society’s Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), said the bill is a “critical step toward safeguarding our kids against skin cancer.”

Gee said melanoma — the deadliest form of skin cancer — kills about 10,000 Americans annually, and hundreds of Kansans are diagnosed with it each year.

“When young people use tanning devices before age 35 and expose themselves to ultraviolet radiation, they increase their risk of being diagnosed with melanoma by 59 percent,” Gee said.

Rep. Dan Hawkins, chairman of the House Health and Human Services Committee, shepherded the bill to passage. It was aided in its journey by emotional testimony from cancer survivors.

Gee highlighted the bipartisan support in the 71-42 House vote and 30-9 Senate vote. She likened the tanning ban to age limits for purchasing cancer-causing tobacco products.

“We don’t let children smoke, and we shouldn’t let them tan,” Gee said. “ACS CAN urges Gov. Brownback to sign into law this life-saving legislation. It’s time to prioritize cancer prevention policy.”

The tanning ban was bundled with a bill that included several licensing changes for Kansas barbers.