Health

Tanning Beds are Very, Very Bad for Teenagers

| Tue Aug. 20, 2013 11:02 AM EDT

Is diet soda bad for you? Who knows. It might be in large quantities, but the evidence is pretty thin. On the list of things to get outraged about, it probably ranks somewhere near the bottom of the Top 100.

Indoor tanning, on the other hand, is just plain horrifically bad. Aaron Carroll provides the basics: indoor tanning before age 25 increases the risk of skin cancer by 50-100 percent, and melanoma risk (the worst kind of skin cancer) increases by 1.8 percent with each additional tanning session per year. Despite this, the chart on the right shows the prevalence of indoor tanning among teenagers. It's high! Aaron is appalled:

This is so, so, so, so, so, so, so bad for you. Why don’t I see rage against this in my inbox like I do for diet soda? Why can’t people differentiate risk appropriately?

And who would fight a tax on this?

Answer: lots of people, including every single member of the Republican Party. Next question?

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