Despite risks, indoor tanning remains popular
Too many Americans are ignoring the dangers of indoor tanning, or they are unaware of the dangers, finds SPH researcher Kelvin Choi.
In a nationwide study of nearly 2,900 people, Choi found that 18 percent of women use indoor tanning facilities, yet only 13 percent believe people should avoid tanning salons to prevent skin cancer. About 6 percent of men reported tanning indoors.
Age was a significant factor, with 36 percent of women and 12 percent of men between the ages of 18 and 24 tanning indoors.
“There’s a knowledge gap out there,” says Choi. “People are still not recognizing that tanning beds actually cause cancer. We found that, alarmingly, the use of indoor tanning among young women is actually higher than smoking.”
The research showed that women who tanned indoors were more likely to be from the Midwest and the South. They were also more likely to use spray-tan products.
“Avoiding indoor tanning booths and beds is the simplest way to reduce the risk of getting skin cancer,” says Choi.