Tanned their hides

March 3, 2013 

On this side, the American Sunbathing Association, representing among others tanning salons. With representation from their scientific adviser, the association was fighting a proposal in the North Carolina General Assembly to prohibit those under 18 from going to tanning salons. The fight was in part over the fact that the bill was seen as picking on small businesses.

And on this side, the American Cancer Society. Little organization you may have heard of, featuring family doctors, dermatologists and oncologists. The society was all in favor of the ban, which is why The News & Observer reported last week it was moving right along toward the law books.

Used in moderation (there are in fact skin conditions that benefits from sun rays or facsimiles thereof) tanning beds might be OK, but too many people develop almost an obsession with having deep tans. But the risk of skin cancer from UV rays is well-documented, and to the degree the state can protect younger people from developing this bad habit, it should.

For its part, the science adviser for the ASA did acknowledge to lawmakers that he is neither a doctor, nor a scientist.

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