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Tanning addiction plagues teenage minorities in Los Angeles, and that dependency is associated with marijuana abuse, obsessive-compulsive disorder and other mental health issues, a Keck School of Medicine of USC study reports.

For decades, tanning and tanning addiction was thought to be a problem prevalent almost solely among white, college-age women; however, research by USC’s Kimberly Miller and others are beginning to dispel that myth.

“Tanning addiction is not limited to white people, and it’s not limited to college-age students,” said Miller, lead author of the study and an assistant professor of clinical preventive medicine and dermatology at the Keck School of Medicine. “It’s clearly starting really young, and it’s not something we’ve been paying enough attention to considering melanoma has been on the rise for the past three decades.”

The study, published in the Journal of Investigative Dermatology, asked 2,637 11th-grade students in Los Angeles to answer a tried-and-tested survey called the “modified CAGE.” About 7 percent of the sample met tanning addiction criteria.

“Seven percent doesn’t sound like a whole lot, but it is when you consider that these teens are only 16- to 17-years-old, and addiction tends to get worse over time,” Miller said. “There is

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