One-third of young people who use tanning beds may be addicted to the behavior

The Los Angeles Times reports that, according to a study published in the Archives of Dermatology, “as many as a third of young people who use tanning beds may be addicted to the behavior.”

While “it’s unclear how or why tanning can become compulsive … exposure to UV light triggers production of brain chemicals called endorphins that boost mood. One study, published in 2006 in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology, found that frequent tanners experience some withdrawal symptoms when given naltrexone, a drug that blocks endorphins.”

Despite the fact that “indoor tanning can cause skin cancer, premature skin aging, and eye damage, according to the US Food and Drug Administration,” Bloomberg News explains that “about one-third of college students who tried indoor tanning facilities were addicted to the artificial rays, and the addicts drank more alcohol and smoked more marijuana than other students, researchers found.”

In a related story, an advisory panel is now urging the FDA to make tanning beds class II or III devices to allow tighter regulation.

The Washington Post reports that on March 25, the Food and Drug Administration called a “hearing in the wake of a report by the International Agency for Research on Cancer” that “reclassified tanning beds into the highest cancer risk category — ‘carcinogenic to humans.'”

The end result of the hearing was that “the panel urged the FDA to make tanning beds Class II or III devices, which would allow the FDA to regulate them more closely.”

If the above information doesn’t convince you to keep your children and teens out of tanning booths, then read my blog, “Researchers say tanning beds cause cancer and are as risky as tobacco or asbestos.”

So, the bottom line, to me, is that we grandparents and parents should do everything possible to keep their children and teens out of tanning booths.

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