After years of legislation, the “Jim Fulghum Teen Skin Cancer Prevention Act,” will be signed into law by Governor Pat McCrory today, May 21, 2015. This legislation will prohibit teens under the age of 18 from using tanning beds. North Carolina will be joining eleven other states and the District of Columbia in the ban of indoor tanning beds for minors. As reported by the organization Prevent Skin Cancer NC, just one tanning session raises melanoma risk by 20 percent, and indoor tanners are 2.5 times more likely to develop squamous cell skin cancer.
As a volunteer for the North Carolina Dermatology Association’s Skin Screening at the Legislature, I know that skin cancer detection and prevention are important to the members of both the NC House and Senate. This bill is named for the late Representative Jim Fulghum. An article about the indoor tanning legislation, published by the News & Observer, quotes Fulghum’s wife, Mary Susan Fulghum, as saying, “My husband supported this bill because he understood the devastating impact that skin cancer is having on young people – especially young women, and as a health care professional, he knew that the most cost-effective health care is prevention.”
Remember to use suncreen and to perform perform monthly self-skin checks.