Dr. Keith Ablow writes at FOXnews.com:
A recent study published in JAMA Dermatology suggests—naively—that tanning beds may be addictive. Researchers surveyed 178 people who had been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma and found that about 15 percent of them continued to use tanning beds about 10 times a year, despite their history of skin cancer.
Dr. Richard Langley, the President of the Canadian Dermatology Association, then noted that visiting a tanning salon after having been diagnosed with basal cell carcinoma is a sign of dependency. Numerous doctors suggested more research into the addictive qualities of tanning beds. And journalists noted, seemingly critically, that tanning addiction is not yet included in the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-V).
Wow. Those who would like to further regulate tanning beds must be giddy with excitement at the prospect of shutting down salons or funding lawsuits against them for imperiling the public.
But here’s the problem: The conclusion drawn from the study about tanning beds—namely that tanning beds are the problem and not the people who use them—has no merit, whatsoever. It is another assault on the concept of free will, individual responsibility and autonomy.