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Final Word: Tanning addiction? Yikes

'Tanning mom' Patricia Krentcil. (AP Photo)

This study that said someone with skin cancer will keep using a tanning bed is seriously disturbing.

Look, I grew up in northeast Ohio. The sun doesn't shine there much, and so every year when prom time rolled around, all the high school girls would save up their extra allowance or paycheck money and buy whatever "tanning" package we could afford.

And of course, we'd get burned. At least the really white ones, like me. My girlfriends with that great olive-toned Italian skin would be fine. We'd lie to our moms about it, just like everything else we weren't allowed to do because it was bad for us.

Why? Because we couldn't stand the idea of looking so WHITE in the pictures. (Never mind that we completely lost sight of what a normal color was for skin, so as a result, the prom pictures I have from the early 1980s look frighteningly like the pictures of the tanning mom Patricia Krentcil!!) But we were young. And STUPID.

There's nothing like being 17 to cause you to not care AT ALL about what you will look like tomorrow or whether or not you will get skin cancer.

But if you are still tanning indoors at age 30, I need to sit down with you. And if you have been diagnosed with skin cancer and you are still tanning, I'm not sure I know what to say.

This study confirms what I already thought was true. Some people are just addicted to tanning. Forget skin cancer, do you know how old you look? It's not good. The tan lasts a week. The skin damage lasts a lifetime. That vanity that is causing you to tan when you are young is going to haunt you when you're old. Or when you 're still young, but LOOK like you're 80. Give it a rest. You'll thank me later.

About the Author

Karie Dozer is host of Arizona's Noon News.

She has been an on-air personality nearly continually since her college days. She loves radio because it is intelligent, immediate and almost always available.

She is the youngest of nine children from a Midwestern Catholic family where she learned to be heard, fight for a place at the table and find humor in almost everything. She was hired as a news intern while a senior at ASU's Cronkite School, and found that covering human stories like the OJ Simpson white Bronco chase and the 1992-93 Phoenix Suns was too much fun to pass up.

She loved life in the newsroom with all the action and crazy personalities to go with it. She anchored and covered some sports too, until politics dragged her away. She served as press secretary for Arizona's Attorney General Grant Woods for a five-year stint before jumping back to radio on a part-time basis. Three years ago she got back in the biz on a more regular basis as a midday host on what is now KTAR News. She has a passion for the breaking news of the moment, education, local politics, great food, sports and fitness. She has trouble turning down a good argument, a good book or a good glass of wine.

In her spare time she takes care of her boys, (husband Rich, son Jack, and yellow lab Buddy,) and bakes awesome chocolate chip cookies. She enjoys the quality of life the Valley offers her family and the natural beauty of Arizona. Her favorite places are golf courses, her own kitchen, the city of Flagstaff, and wherever her family is.

She considers herself lucky to work with the amazingly talented people of KTAR radio.


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