In case you hadn't figured it out already, tanning is addicting. So addicting, in fact, that one in seven tanners diagnosed with skin cancer go back to tanning even after their diagnosis. The endorphins released by skin cells after exposure to UV light make many people who tan dependent on getting into the ole' UV coffin.
MTV's "True Life: I'm Addicted to Tanning" gave us some insight into the deadly obsession with looking bronze, with one overly-sunned Alyssa declaring, "School is my main focus right now, but tanning is my favorite part of the day. I feel the adrenaline just going through my whole body because I'm so excited to go inside a tanning bed. Being under the UV lights puts me in a good mood." In the next segment, Alyssa showed the camera her moles, which were all getting worse after her daily tanning sessions. She followed that with, "I think being darker really makes me look more attractive." That's the addiction talking, honey. And with about 15% of tanners returning to the tanning bed even after being diagnosed, addiction to tanning is very real:
"Just as tobacco is known to be addictive, our research suggests that some patients may become dependent on tanning, with new intervention approaches needed to change these behaviors."
But while the stigma of smoking tobacco products has significantly decreased the number of new smokers, tanning is still relatively accepted despite its many risks. I suppose Tan Mom has become an effective anti-tanning PSA, though.