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Legislation would keep teens from tanning beds

Posted May 25, 2011

— A bill pending in the General Assembly would require anyone under 18 to get a physician's prescription to use a tanning booth.

State law now allows youths age 13 to 18 to go to a tanning parlor with parental permission, but Sen. Eric Mansfield, D-Cumberland, said the risk of contracting skin cancer from excessive exposure to the UV rays in tanning booths necessitates a medical referral.

"The outcome of this is a malignant disease that can be fatal, and that is much higher than the parental right,” said Mansfield, a Fayetteville physician.

He said he once had a teenage patient who developed melanoma, and he believes the disease was connected to her tanning bed use.

Under Senate Bill 471, physicians could approve teens going to tanning parlors to treat skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. The prescription would specify the number of visits allowed and the length of each visit.

The Indoor Tanning Association estimated that 7 to 8 percent of business in North Carolina comes from people under 18, and tanning parlor owners said they doubt the bill would make any difference.

tanning bed Legislation would keep teens from tanning beds

"(Teens) could bring anything into me. I'm not a pharmacist where I can judge if that prescription is actually valid," said Tricia Peterson, who owns the Carolina Sun salon in Hope Mills.

Peterson said a better solution would be to limit the number of times a teen can visit a tanning parlor.

She said the industry is already regulated, and teens can get just as much UV exposure outside from the sun.

"It's not like smoking or drinking where you can keep the product out of children's hands," she said. "It's a product that's available to them every day."

45 Comments

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  • Casu-Al May 30, 2011

    I think this proposed law is merely a silly compromise with tanning salon lobbyists. Afterall, wouldn't REAL prescriptions be written for licensed radiologists and not to corner tanning salons? But the main thing to consider here (all your politics aside) is that tanning is not being banned...simply do so the old fashioned way and go in the sun. Tanning BEDS should be banned...they're 15-times more potent than sun rays. Let your daughter smoke...no problem...but would you allow her to put a fish bowl over her head and pump in fifteen cigarettes of smoke at one time? Most likely not. THAT's the issue here...not banning tanning...but banning tanning beds which is nothing more than concentrated radiation. Just like smoking is not the only cause of lung cancer...just the main cause....tanning beds is similarly proven to be a significant cause of skin cancer.

  • Common Nonsensical May 26, 2011

    "What's wrong with parents ruling what their kids do?"

    Exactly! We're telling them what then can smoke (pot), when they can drink, what they can do with their own bodies (sex/abortions)...IT'S SOCIALISM RUN AMOK I TELL YOU!

  • nanasix May 26, 2011

    Looks like our state law makers are trying to act like the Fed Govt and control everything...Tanning beds...what a crock. There are so many other things their attention should have been on, i.e., Elaine F. Marshall, SOS, and the way she's destroying state records, and costing us millions of dollars each year in her malfeasance of duty & incompetence. We're going broke and they're worrying about tanning booths for teenagers??? What's wrong with parents ruling what their kids do?...no let's put the responsibility on State Lawmakers. This is taking it too far.

  • Common Nonsensical May 26, 2011

    "Its unsafe no matter what an parent says and since obviously we can't rely on parents doing the smart thing then I see no reason for letting tanning salons kill kids for profit just because their parents are fools."

    Oh, I know haggis. Not sure I agree with making a new law about it, but....*shrugs* I'm just amused at the people who are ususally so anti "Nanny State" proclaiming the virtues of this legislation.

  • haggis basher May 26, 2011

    "isn't that the job of the parent though? Deciding what is, and isn't, safe for their kids?"

    Its unsafe no matter what an parent says and since obviously we can't rely on parents doing the smart thing then I see no reason for letting tanning salons kill kids for profit just because their parents are fools.

  • Common Nonsensical May 26, 2011

    GODDESS BLESS! Can't have a decent conversation for all the post not making it past the censors. SHEESH!

  • batcave May 26, 2011

    It only maaes no sense if you are a black and white thinker incapable of complex concepts and thought. Or translated, if you are a Conservative/Republican/Teanutter

    Raise your hand if you are a local dem politician that has not been to prison yet--- how to you spell crook in NC-- DEMOCRAT

    all these laws --open container, fences, blue laws---all southern good ole boy dems---read a book on the dynamics of nc politics MOST people are registered DEMS in this state. you must not be from here.

  • Common Nonsensical May 26, 2011

    "Tanning salons are businesses for profit. They shouldn't be in the business of endangering unbeknowest children. "

    isn't that the job of the parent though? Deciding what is, and isn't, safe for their kids? There are a lot of people out there who don't think sweetended cereals are safe/healthy for kids. Many don't think they should be drinking sodas with HFCS in it, it sodas at all.

  • BuglessDuster May 26, 2011

    "This bill is no different than a bill that bans teens from texting while driving, forcing swimming pool fences, or NC state law requiring a curfew to young drivers. "

    Here's an idea to create jobs and reduce skin cancer: Have state-employed sunscreen inspectors posted at swimming pools, lakes and beaches across the state to make sure everyone is wearing enough sunscreen. If it is deemed that not enough sun protection is being worn, then they could be ticketed and fined. ;-)

  • sillywabbitthepatriot May 26, 2011

    Tanning salons are businesses for profit. They shouldn't be in the business of endangering unbeknowest children.

    When you're 18 and can join the US armed forces, you can get a tan as well.

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