U.S. News


How Colleges Use Tanning Beds To Attract Students

Colleges are offering cheap and convenient tanning to students despite doctors' warnings about the dangers.
Posted at 2:16 PM, Oct 30, 2014

Research shows about half of U.S. colleges are using free or cheep tanning beds to lure students, despite doctors' adamant warnings about the dangers. 

ANOKHI JAMBUSARIA, M.D., VIA MAYO CLINIC"You should never use a tanning bed."

RICHARD W. JOSEPH, M.D: "Melanoma is definitely related to tanning-bed use."

A study by the University of Massachusetts Medical School found tanning beds are available either on campus or in off-campus housing in 48 percent of the country's colleges and about half a million students have access to tanning beds on campus. 

The study found "campus cash" debit cards can be used for tanning in about 14 percent of the colleges that have tanning on campus, and in about 96 percent of off-campus housing tanning facilities, the service is offered for free. 

In adults under 30, tanning beds increase the risk of getting skin cancer by 75 percent, and the number of young adults contracting the disease increases every year. 

MELISSA PILIANG, M.D., VIA NBC: "The rate of melanoma-type skin cancer in young people is increasing by 6 percent per year, and at least some of that is related to tanning-bed use."

Plus research has shown people who begin tanning early in life can develop a dangerous addiction.  

TRUTH OF ADDICTION: "Those with a tanning dependence appear to have obsessive thoughts about it and a compulsion to tan, which are similar symptoms to other addicts." 

Researchers urge colleges to attract students with healthier options like gyms and healthy dining and get rid of their tanning beds for good. 

This video includes an image from Getty Images.