Let’s start with the basics:
Indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk of skin cancer, especially among frequent users and those initiating use at a young age. Indoor tanning before age 35 years increases melanoma risk by 59% to 75%, while use before age 25 years increases nonmelanoma skin cancer risk by 40% to 102%. Moreover, melanoma risk increases by 1.8% with each additional tanning session per year. Melanoma incidence rates are steadily increasing, especially among young non-Hispanic white females, which may be due, in part, to indoor tanning.
So, obviously, don’t do it. Right? Prepare to be appalled. “Indoor Tanning Among Young Non-Hispanic White Females“:
We used data from the 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Survey (YRBS) of high school students and the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) for adults aged 18 to 34 years. We estimated the prevalence of indoor tanning and frequent indoor tanning, overall and by age and US census region. Indoor tanning was defined as using an indoor tanning device (eg, a sunlamp, sunbed, or tanning booth, not including a spray-on tan) at least 1 time during the 12 months before each survey. Frequent indoor tanning was defined as using an indoor tanning device at least 10 times during the same period. Differences in prevalence between subgroups were assessed with χ2 tests.
I made a chart of the results:
Overall, about 29% of young, non-Hispanic females had tanned indoors the last year. Almost 17% of them had tanned 10 times or more in the last year. The numbers for women 18 and older give me the chills.
This is so, so, so, so, so, so, so bad for you. Why don’t I see rage against this in my inbox like I do for diet soda? Why can’t people differentiate risk appropriately?
And who would fight a tax on this?