Tanning beds are under scrutiny. Photo: Getty Images

Just like people who continue to smoke regardless of the lung cancer warnings or folks who subsist solely on greasy fast food despite the health risks, there are thousands and thousands of people who use indoor tanning beds even though the World Health Organization's cancer division has listed indoor tanning beds as definitive cancer-causers.

(Not to mention wrinkles, sagging, age spots and rough, uneven skin!)

Although it seems like common sense to most people that tanning beds pose a health risk, it's shocking how much misinformation and propaganda is out there trying to lure people into pumping money into the lucrative $5 billion a year industry.

One StyleList staffer remembers a gym tour that concluded at the attached tanning salon -- she was horrified when the membership guy tried to sell her a tanning package and actually said (and probably believed it from the booth manufacturer brochure) that these particular tanning beds "don't give off the kind of light that causes cancer."

Another recalls her horror when she received a press release touting tanning beds as a "healthy" way to get Vitamin D.

Pair those statements with a person's longing for a golden tan and it's easy to see why the frying continues.

The US Food and Drug is now exploring stricter tanning bed regulations which will include more prominent warnings in the hopes that people will be more informed about the dangers of indoor tanning and think twice before hitting the beds.

According to The Huffington Post, the Indoor Tanning Association -- already up in arms over a proposed 10% tax on tanning services in the Health Care Reform Bill -- claims there is no new science to justify increased FDA regulation.

On the ITA website they claim to "protect the freedom of individuals to acquire a suntan." But don't those same individuals have the right to know the risks of indoor tanning before they decide to use them?

In any rate, they'll be paying more: the Health Care Bill now includes a 10% tax on tanning beds, expected to raise $2.7 billion over ten years.

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