1997 Fools: Libertarian Party demands: Declare war on teenage tanning!
Subject:      LP RELEASE: "Teenage Tanning"
From:         LIB_NW <libnw@dmi.net>
Date:         1997/04/05
Message-Id:   <3346CC59.6BCF@dmi.net>
Newsgroups:   alt.politics.libertarian,talk.politics.libertarian,alt.society.civil-liberty,alt.society.civil-liberties

2600 Virginia Avenue, NW, Suite 100
Washington DC 20037
For release: April 1, 1997
For additional information:
George Getz, Deputy Director of Communications
Phone: (202) 333-0008 Ext. 222
E-Mail: 76214.3676@CompuServe.com


Libertarian Party demands: Declare war on teenage tanning!

        WASHINGTON, DC -- Thousands of American teenagers are tanning
themselves into an early grave -- while the government stands idly by,
the Libertarian Party charged today.

        "It's time to declare war on the Coppertone Girl!" demanded
party spokesman Bill Winter. "Instead of wasting time on teenage
smoking, politicians should focus on a real health crisis -- teenage

        Recent news reports revealed that sales of low-SPF suntan
products -- with little or no protection against the ultraviolet light
that triggers tanning -- are soaring among young people. For example,
the sales of low-SPF Panama Jack products surged by 40% in 1996, and
no-SPF Banana Boat brand sales grew by 24%.

        As a result, sunburn-related injuries jumped by 20% in some
popular Spring Break locations like Panama City, Florida, as teenagers
flaunt their bronze -- or bright pink -- rebellion against years of
just-say-no-to-tanning medical advice. And because of the link between
sun exposure and skin cancer, dark tans today will result in an
explosion of melanoma in 20 or 30 years.

        "Why hasn't Congress held hearings about how the $400-million
tanning products industry exploits young people?" asked Winter. "And
why hasn't the FDA regulated these low-SPF suntan products as dangerous
sunshine delivery systems?"

        But the news gets worse. Many teenagers are bypassing suntan
lotion completely and slathering themselves with no-protection baby

        "Baby oil is the gateway drug to no-SPF tanning products,"
accused Winter. "And once kids are hooked, suntan industry moguls lure
them with enticingly named no-SPF products like Ultra Sun, Sizzle, and
Equatorial Thrust. We must stop these death merchants before they hook
another generation on dark, sexy tans!"

        But tanning isn't the only teenage health epidemic ignored by
politicians, complained Winter. For example:

        * The number of overweight teenagers (12-17) has doubled since
1980, from 6% to 12%. This trend puts millions of young people at
future risk from strokes, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart

        "It's time to mandate Surgeon General warnings on Big Macs and
fried chicken," suggested Winter helpfully. "Or maybe we could send
obese teenagers to government exercise camps."

        * More teenagers are becoming "addicted" to the Internet. The
American Psychological Association's Council on Addiction says
excessive time in cyberspace is a growing "disorder," especially among
college students. McLean Hospital near Harvard University has even
opened a computer addiction clinic.

        "Al Gore's beloved information superhighway is a one-way road
to addiction," charged Winter. "What's next: Will the CIA start selling
unlimited Internet access to teenagers to raise money for Nicaraguan

        All these trends -- too much tanning, eating, and cybersurfing
-- are clear opportunities for new government programs, said Winter.

        "If something isn't done soon, we'll end up with a nation of
well-tanned, fat teenagers hooked on the Internet!" he ranted
apocalyptically. "Can't politicians do something to save our kids?"

        Wait a second -- has the Libertarian Party really abandoned its
longtime opposition to government intervention? Do Libertarians really
want a government War On Tanning & Eating & Cyberspace?

        "Of course not," said Winter. "But April Fools Day seemed like
a good time to point out how easy it is to cobble together a few
statistics and some wild rhetoric, and manufacture a phony crisis that

'requires' a new government War on Something, especially when it
involves kids.

        "But we, the American public, are the real April Fools if we
don't declare a War on Government Wars -- and demand an end to the
crisis-of-the-week that politicians manufacture to rob us of our
liberty," he said.

The Libertarian Party                                      http://www.lp.org/
2600 Virginia Ave. NW, Suite 100                          voice: 202-333-0008
Washington DC 20037                                         fax: 202-333-0072

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