From seat belts to tanning booths; 2 dozen health-related bills under consideration

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HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – A steady stream of testimony came before the Public Health Committee with state lawmakers considering 24 health-related bills.

One bill included a proposal to raise the minimum age for tanning booth use from 17 to 18-years-old.

“This is not to punish any industry. This is really to protect our youth,” said Dr. Omar Ibrahimi, President of the Connecticut State Dermatology Society.

He added, “People use them to induce a tan or get the glowing skin. But the way the UV rays damage the skin, they cause the same kind of damage that cigarette smoke causes to lung cells when somebody smokes. So, this is just a setup for developing skin cancer in adulthood.”

Also up for debate, seat belt use.

Related Content: Public hearing set on 24 health-related bills

The proposal looks to expand the current law to include everybody sitting in the back seat of a vehicle. It’s a reminder to buckle up for injury prevention.

Supporters say it can save lives and lower health care costs.

“When you’re in a taxi, when you’re in a friend’s car, if you’re in the back seat, sometimes you just forget. So, that’s why this law is so great and is so important,” explained Dr. Bella Dinh-Zarr, representing the National Transportation Safety Board.

She stressed, “When you don’t wear your seat belt, you act as a human projectile.”

29 other states, including the District of Columbia, already have a rear seat belt law in place.

Also under consideration is allowing minors to get medical treatment for sexually transmitted diseases without consent of parent or guardian.

Committee members could make revisions based on the testimony before voting on whether the bill goes to a full vote in the House and Senate.

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