Gov. Paul LePage vetoed a bill yesterday that would prohibit anyone younger than 18 from using commercial tanning beds and booths.
That was unfortunate.
LePage trotted out the nanny state argument, claiming the "bill tells Maine parents that Augusta knows better than they do when it comes to their children."
Yes, and we also know better than some parents about the dangers to children of drinking, using drugs and smoking.
Research shows teen tanning increases the risk of that child later contracting cancer by 75 percent.
Some parents are oblivious to medical information. Others just don't know what their kids are doing. Meanwhile, even well-intentioned parents are under such pressure from their teens that they too often accede to their tanning wishes.
The "nanny state" has set up a different judicial system for teens, specifically recognizing that they are not always biologically capable of making good decisions.
Banning commercial tanning for all children under 18 would alleviate the pressure for teenage girls to top the next girl's tan. That would probably come as a great relief to parents uneasy about their child's tanning.
Are there parents out there who really want their teens doing this? We doubt there are many.
It is one thing to allow adults the freedom to take risks, like not wearing a motorcycle helmet, smoking or drinking to excess.
But it is worthwhile for society to protect children until they are old enough to make informed adult decisions ... and live with the sometimes frightening adult consequences.
The opinions expressed in this column reflect the views of the ownership and the editorial board.