Skin cancer among teenagers who tan is on the rise, according to a new study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings. However, the news appears to be doing little to curb the number of teens tanning for prom.
The study found melanoma rates in young adults increased by six fold in the last 40 years, MSNBC reports. The incidences of melanoma for women ages 18 to 39 rose eight times from what they were in 1970. Men in the same age group saw a fourfold increase.
The study's numbers are pretty shocking. But the potential legal ramifications of this news could be even worse for the tanning industry.
That's because much like the legal problems facing the cigarette industry today, the tanning business could face similar issues from teens who get melanoma in the future.
The two industries have a lot in common. Both have come under fire from the government and the public for their alleged negative health affects and advertisements. We all remember how crazy cigarette ads used to be .
Both have also attempted to redirect the onus elsewhere. For instance, the tanning industry's response to the study has been to point the blame on other factors, such as heredity and geographic bias.
While the study's authors acknowledge that these factors could possibly limit the full scope of their findings, the fact is tanning teens that get skin cancer in the future probably won't care. That's because they'll probably be looking to sue.
And if they do, it's likely that they'll probably end up using similar arguments being employed in lawsuits against the cigarette industry today. Arguments like, inadequate notice of harm, deceptive and manipulative advertisements, and so forth.
Whether these possible future lawsuits against the tanning industry will have legs is another issue.
However for now, as prom season approaches teen tanning goes unabated despite the heightened cancer risks.