Tanning risks don’t phase youth

A new survey shows young adults know using tanning beds is risky for one’s health.

But, they reason, “everything causes cancer these days” so they hop in a tanning bed anyway.

The research published in the journal Archives of Dermatology analyzed a survey 551 college students younger than 26. Of the respondents, 218 had used a tanning bed before.

Of those who had used a tanning bed before, 59 percent agreed with the statement, “Tanning bed use can make me ill, but everything causes cancer these days.”

Nearly 54 percent agreed that tanning bed use is no more risky than lots of other things people do, and 48 percent said they would have to use tanning beds a lot more frequently in order for it to be risky for their health.

“The type of thinking that there is danger all around you, and hence unavoidable, is a common way of justifying risky behaviors,” said study researcher Smita Banerjee, a behavioral scientist at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, in a Today health story. “Of course, the flaw to such thinking is the assumption that all dangers pose the same level of threat or harm.”

The survey also found 27 percent of past or current users thought more skin cancer is caused by frequent sunburns and family history than tanning beds.

Twelve percent said it’s more important to have tanned skin than to worry about cancer.

And, sadly, nearly 8 percent said they would rather live a shorter life than a longer one where they’re deprived of the pleasure of using tanning beds.


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