We live in a place called the "Sunshine State" with about 825 miles of beaches, but instead of taking advantage of those natural resources a whole lot of Floridians appear to prefer to get tan inside a salon. In fact, a new study reveals that there are now more tanning salons in Florida than there are McDonald's, CVSs, Bank of America branches and Publixes.
University of Miami Miller School of Medicine research found that there are 1,261 tanning salons in Florida. Most of those offer only tanning, but a few locations are found in health club facilities and private residential buildings. That's about one tanning salon for every 15,113 people in Florida, and 1.16 for about every 50 square miles.
To put that in perspective, there are only 868 McDonald's in the state. So there are about 400 more places to get an indoor tan in Florida than there are places to get Big Macs. While Big Macs may not exactly be healthy cuisine, at least they won't give you skin cancer.
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Florida has the second highest rate of melanoma in the country, and the UM study highlights the dangers of indoor tanning. Those who start using indoor tanning facilities before they're 35 have a 59 percent higher chance of developing skin cancer.
"Indoor tanning is known to cause skin cancers, including melanoma, which is deadly," Dr. Joshua Zeichner, a dermatology expert not connected with the study, told Health Day. "Despite an increase in public awareness efforts from dermatologists, people are still sitting in tanning beds."
The research does not address the obvious question of why the hell people would spend so much money on indoor tanning when you can just go outside and get a hot tan and skin cancer for free.