WTF: A Bunch of College Campuses Have Tanning Beds

Illustration for article titled WTF: A Bunch of College Campuses Have Tanning Beds

Tanning beds are terrible for you, a means of paying to drastically increase your skin cancer risk. The CDC disapproves, and so does the surgeon general. Seriously, they are dumb and terrible. And yet, according to a new study, they're alarmingly common on college campuses. What, because college was too healthy?

NPR reports on a study recently published in JAMA Dermatology, which surveyed the top 125 colleges ranked by U.S. News and World Report. Their methodology:

Researchers completed the survey by searching for "tanning" on college and university websites and calling tanning parlors to ask if they would take campus cash. The callers acted as though they were interested in the college and wanted to know what amenities it had, or as if they were a potential patron of the campus salon.


Freaking HALF of those schools boasted tanning facilities either on campus or within student housing. Plus! 14 percent those schools allow students to pay for their cancer rays with some form of "campus cash." "Tobacco and alcohol are not allowable purchases on many campuses," said study author Sherry Pagoto. "We would encourage colleges to take that one step further and add tanning to that list."

Of course, college campuses are rife with shit that's terrible for you. Maybe some colleges don't allow alcohol purchases on campuses, but American students are frequently lucky to escape four years of college without a severe drinking problem, and their eating habits are pretty much the heart attack fast track.

That said, the tanning beds were most common in the Midwest and Northeast, which is understandable—I did four years in the frigid wastes of Massachusetts and by Thanksgiving I would've committed highway robbery for a UV lamp. But please, kids—just embrace your paleness, already. STOP FUCKING TANNING.


Image via Hanasch/Shutterstock.

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If it's in cold places I would suspect people like them to keep the SAD at bay. As a CA girl a week without the sun is enough to put me in a funk. I can't imagine trying to make it through a mid west winter! I would be living under a lamp.