CDC study links teenagers’ indoor tanning with sex, binge drinking

An open tanning booth at Amazing Tans in Sacramento, Calif.
A bill to ban minors from using tanning beds is up for a final vote in the Ontario legislature today. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File)

CHICAGO – Government research links indoor tanning by teenagers with other risks including binge drinking, unhealthy dieting and sexual activity.

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found other behaviours were also more common among high school students who use sun lamps or indoor tanning beds than teens who don’t. That included drug use among girls and smoking among boys.

Those results are in a CDC analysis of 2009-11 national surveys. The report was published online Wednesday in the journal JAMA Dermatology.

About 1 in 5 high school girls reported indoor tanning in 2011, down from earlier years. It was less common among boys.

Skin cancer is linked with tanning and the most serious kind, melanoma, is rare but increasing in teens.

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