Washington: A new study has linked more cases of cancer to indoor tanning exposure than smoking.
According to an analysis of past research, more than a third of adults in Western countries have been exposed to indoor tanning at some point.
Based on those exposures, the study authors calculate the number of skin cancers that can be blamed on indoor tanning each year exceeds the number of lung cancers attributed to smoking for the countries studied, Fox News reported.
Study's senior author and a dermatologist at the University of California, San Francisco Dr. Eleni Linos said that they already knew that indoor tanning is linked to skin cancer, but they wanted to find out how common was its exposure in the United States and internationally.
The World Health Organization (WHO), the American Medical Association and the American Academy of Dermatology have come out against indoor tanning in recent years.
In 2009, WHO labeled tanning devices as high-level carcinogens, which puts tanning on par with tobacco use as a public health threat.
In 2007, a working group affiliated with WHO found that people who used tanning beds before their 30th birthday were 75 percent more likely to develop melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer.
The findings are published in JAMA Dermatology.