Tanning Bed Law for Teens Takes Effect
For many teens, staying tan is a part of everyday life.

"Appearance is a big thing when you're a teenager," 17-year-old Elizabeth Diaz said.

But a new state law prohibits teens under age 16 1/2 from using tanning beds. The law also requires teens under 18 to have a parent sign a consent form in person.

"I think that's really good because it's hard to know what our kids are doing," said Cheli Hunt, whose teenage daughter regularly tans. "If you're actually physically coming with them, you know exactly what they're doing, what the rules are."

But some teens say the law is too restrictive.

"I think it's kind of a stupid law," said Rebecca Bell, 16. "People should be able to decide whether they want to tan or not, as long as you know what it does -- which I do."

Research indicates overexposure to ultraviolet rays in childhood greatly increases the chances of getting skin cancer, and high-risk exposure often happens during teenage years.

Salon owners argue tanning in moderation can provide beneficial vitamin D.

But there's an alternative for teens who can't tan because of the new restrictions.

"Like other salons, we offer airbrushing," said Scott Kirkland, owner of Golden Beach Tan in Allen. "Airbrushing allows an individual to come in and choose their color ... and to get that glow. So a very natural-looking tan with natural products -- and no UV exposure."