WASHINGTON (AP) — The acting U.S. surgeon general is asking Americans to give up their love of sunbathing and indoor tanning beds, citing an alarming 200 percent jump in the number of deadly melanoma cases diagnosed since 1973.
Rear Adm. Boris Lushniak says in a new report that nearly 5 million people in the U.S. are treated for all forms of skin cancer each year at a cost of $8 billion. He says that state and local officials should do more to help people cover up, such as providing more shade at parks, and that colleges should discourage indoor tanning beds on their campuses, much as they would tobacco use.
Lushniak says skin cancer rates won't change until American attitudes do. Tanned skin, he warns, is damaged skin.