A new analysis of the use of tanning beds indicates that it's even greater than thought. The report published Wednesday in a psychiatry journal found 38 million Americans have used a tanning bed, including 59 percent of college students and 17 percent of teens.
These no doubt attractive young people are flunking an IQ test: Using a tanning machine before age 35 increases the risk of melanoma, the deadliest skin cancer, by 75 percent, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The American Cancer Society says that since 1992, the disease once associated with aging has increased by 3 percent a year among white women under 40. Europe and Australia are as bad.
Lung cancer from smoking kills more people, but new research shows frequent tanning sessions change human brain activity to mimic the patterns of drug addiction. “Don't start” is the best advice. “Stop it” isn't bad either.
Remember the old Saturday Night Live skits with Billy Crystal's macho-elegant “Fernando” character?
“You look marrrr-velous,” he would gush. “And you know, it's much more important to look good than it is to feel good.”
News flash, kids: That was a joke.