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Gyms are places people go to get healthier. But nearly half the gyms in the U.S. contain a potentially addictive carcinogen – tanning beds, report UConn researchers in the July 18 issue of JAMA Dermatology.

Exercise reduces the risk of every cancer except one – melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. People who exercise heavily are at greater risk of skin cancer, and yet many gyms in the U.S. have tanning beds. In other words, tanning beds in gyms are targeting people who are already at higher risk of skin cancer.

Exercise and tanning are both activities people use to improve their appearance; and people who tan in gyms tan more often – and more addictively – than other people who use tanning beds, according to a study run by UConn psychologist Sherry Pagoto.

Pagoto, a professor of allied health sciences at UConn as well as president of the Society of Behavioral Medicine, points out that “by pairing exercise with tanning beds, gyms send the message that tanning is part of a healthy lifestyle. It is not.”

Pagoto and her colleagues surveyed 636 people who had used a tanning bed at least once in their life. Of those people, 24

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