Califiornia children and youths under the age of 18 will no longer be allowed to use tanning beds under a bill Gov. Jerry Brown signed Sunday prohibiting minors from using ultraviolet tanning devices.

California is the first state in the nation to ban minors from using tanning beds, legislators said.

The bill was part of a cluster of legislation designed to improve the health and well-being of Calfornians, according to a statement from the governor's office.

“I praise Gov. Brown for his courage in taking this much-needed step to protect some of California's most vulnerable residents -- our kids -- from what the 'House of Medicine' has conclusively shown is lethally dangerous: ultraviolet-emitting radiation from tanning beds, said the bill's sponsor, state Sen. Ted Lieu.

Supporters said a higher age limit is needed because skin damage caused by the type of radiation used in tanning beds often leads to melanoma, which can be fatal.

The law will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2012, according to Lieu's office.