John Oliver is a genius at bringing savvy humor to deep topics via his HBO show Last Week Tonight. Recently, he brought attention to the fact that tanning beds still exist. And the topic is pretty horrifying.
In the video, "How Is This Still a Thing?", we learn: "There are more tanning beds in America than there are Dunkin' Donuts (over 10,000 vs. 8,500), meaning there are more places to get medium roasted than there are places to drink a medium roast." Though clever, those stats do not make us laugh. We also learned that tanning salons are a $3 billion industry, which is a huge number considering the UV-infused booths launched in the 1970s.
With all that we know about UV-sun damage and skin cancer (re: the former causes the latter), it is difficult to believe anyone would willingly step into a tanning bed. The video brings up the point that the World Health Organization added tanning beds to its group one list of cancer-causing substances (the same list as cigarettes). And though it offers vitamin D, you can get the mood-boosting vitamin via a 10-minute walk outdoors (wearing sunscreen), foods like salmon, and supplements.
Watch the video to learn more about what tanning beds can do to your skin. And hear our PSA loud and clear: it's time to put these cancer chambers out of business so that they are no longer a "thing."