The potential risks associated with indoor tanning are widely publicized – and some states are banning or considering banning their use in minors, but young people are still frequenting these salons.
Now, a new study provides some hints about why. College students who use indoor tanning beds merely rationalize the risks away. Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City reported their findings in the June issue Archives of Dermatology.
About 40 percent of more than 500 U.S. college students said they use tanning beds even though they’re aware of the risks associated with their use. Most go tanning because they want to look more attractive.
The most common reasons for indoor tanning included “everything causes cancer these days.” This rationalization was followed by tanning beds are “no more risky than lots of other things people do” and “it is dangerous to walk across the street” About 48 percent of the students thought they didn’t use tanning beds enough to put their health at risk.