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The Shocking Mother-Daughter Bonding Experience That Ups Your Cancer Risk

February 18, 2011

The first person to bring a young woman to a tanning salon has a huge impact on her future tanning habits, according to a fascinating new study in The Archives of Dermatology

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The research, as reported on in the New York Times, found that if a woman was introduced to UV beds and booths by her mother, she is nearly five times as likely as others to be a heavy tanner.

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The subjects whose first experience fake baking took place with mom (40 percent of the women surveyed) were also more likely to have started tanning earlier, at age 14 compared to other tanners, who began at 16.

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About 32 percent of the women who participated said they first went with a friend, about 10 percent with an acquaintance, and nearly 20 percent first tried indoor tanning alone.

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Considering that going under UV lights before the age of 30 raises your changes of skin cancer by a whopping 75 percent, we're surprised—and disappointed—that mothers would willingly expose their young daughters to that risk. It also makes us believe that the legislature in 31 states, which requires minors to get permission from a parent before tanning, might not make much of a difference. Just another reason why we won't be satisfied until UV beds and booths are banned for everyone, regardless of age.

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These stats are based on a small group of women in a particular area (227 students at East Tennessee State University), but we're curious to hear from Cosmo readers. If you've ever indoor tanned, who introduced you to it? Your mom? Dad? Friends? Someone else? And if you still tan, let us know how frequently you go.

Find out more about the frightening—and sometimes hidden—dangers of indoor tanning.

And read about a young woman who pursued a tan, both in the sun and in tanning beds and was battling the most lethal form of skin cancer by 22.

Read more at Cosmopolitan.com!

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