Study: Tanning Junkies Drink More, Smoke More Pot
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.
The compulsive tanners met psychological criteria for addiction gauged by two different measurers, according to the study published today by the medical journal, Archives of Dermatology. About 42 percent of tanning addicts reported using more than one drug in the previous month, twice the rate of casual tanners.
Indoor tanning can cause skin cancer, premature skin aging and eye damage, according to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The health overhaul signed by President Barack Obama last month will charge customers a 10 percent tax effective in July. Curbing the habits of sun-starved undergraduates may prove more difficult than previously thought, researchers wrote in today’s study.
“Results suggest that treating an underlying mood disorder may be a necessary step in reducing cancer risk among those who frequently tan indoors,” wrote the researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York and the State University of New York, Albany. “Individuals who use drugs may be more likely to develop dependence on indoor tanning because of a similar addictive process.”
The study evaluated 421 college students in 2006. The students answered surveys designed to evaluate drug addiction. The surveys were modified to measure tanning addiction.
Questions included: “Do you ever feel guilty that you are using tanning beds or booths too much?” and “Do you try other non-tanning-related activities but find you really still like spending time in tanning beds or booths best of all?”
To contact the reporter on this story: Tom Randall in New York at email@example.com.
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