A Colorado doctor and father of five is seeking to ban the sale of smartphones to children under age 13 after he saw first-hand the negative effects of handheld technology on his own kids.
Tim Farnum — an anesthesiologist who spearheads the group Parents Against Underage Smartphones — proposed the legislation after he noticed his children growing moody and withdrawn.
“They would get the phone and lock themselves in their room and change who they were,” Farnum told The Coloradoan.
The legislation, which would be the first of its kind in the country, needs 300,000 signatures to make it onto the 2018 ballot.
The law would require stores to screen customers’ purchases and refuse sales of phones for use by preteens. The ban would also make retailers submit monthly purchase reports to the Colorado Department of Revenue.
Stores violating the measure would be subjected to fines of $500 to $20,000.
Research shows that the risk of tech addiction among kids is real and can lead to depression, anxiety, aggression and even psychosis.
The brain on computers looks an awful lot like a brain on drugs, prompting Dr. Peter Whybrow, director of neuroscience at UCLA, to compare the modern addiction to “digital heroin.”