Science News

Is Tanning Addictive?

Sun, 6th Nov 2005

Part of the show Fireworks, Explosions and Chemistry

We hear about drug addiction, nicotine addiction, alcohol addiction and even chocolate addiction – but addiction to the sun? Surely not! But yes - according
to a recent study, tanning is addictive too. American scientists adapted a questionnaire normally used to diagnose people with drug and alcohol addiction and tested 150 beach goers. They found that over half of these people could be classified as ‘ultraviolet tanning dependent’ (Also know as Brits-on-holiday
syndrome!!). It is thought this addiction is due to release of endorphins – feel good chemicals that are released when you’re exposed to UV light - giving
beach babes a sun-induced emotional high. This may explain why despite the risks of skin cancer many people would rather bare all on the beach than reach for the fake tan.

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