North Carolina bill sparks questions about tanning beds and teens

School may be nearly out, but for young people in North Carolina, getting that bronzed summer glow could become a little more complicated, and costly.

The Youth Skin Cancer Prevention Act, a bill sponsored by three senators who also are doctors, would require people younger than 18 to have a physician's prescription to tan indoors.

Opponents of the legislation say it encroaches on parental rights and goes too far in regulating an industry that already faces many restrictions. Those in favor say it would help to reduce melanoma, one of the most common and dangerous forms of skin cancer for adolescents and young adults, significantly cutting the medical costs of treating skin cancer.

"The law could save lives," said Dr. Craig Burkhart, a pediatric dermatologist at the University of North Carolina Medical School and the president of the N.C. Dermatology Association. "It really educates people [at a young age] that indoor tanning is not safe."

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