Young Adults Say No to Melanoma

The Melanoma Foundation of New England's annual pledge drive challenges young people to say no to tanning.

Even though it’s hard to believe it now, spring is just around the corner. Before you know it, the time to shed the winter layers will be here. And what’s under those layers? Pale skin as a result of months without seeing the sun. In order to keep up with certain beauty standards in time for the upcoming season, teenagers and young adults will flock to tanning beds. Fortunately, the Melanoma Foundation of New England (MFNE) is fighting to stop this cultural norm.

The MFNE began hosting its 7th annual “Your Skin is In, Tanning is Out pledge drive this month, which will runs through April 30. The campaign aims to inform teens and young adults that tanning is directly linked melanoma, the most dangerous and deadly form of skin cancer. Those who sign the pledge are agreeing to not use tanning booths or intentionally tan outside in an effort to keep their skin safe. With prom and spring break on the horizon, the pledge should remind young people that the dangers of tanning are not worth the vanity.

MFNE’s executive director, Deb Girard, explains the program further in a press release:

“Teens want to believe that ‘it can’t happen to them,’ or that it’s safe to just get a ‘base tan’ before the prom or before spring break.  The truth is that there is no safe tan – whether in a tanning booth or outside in the sun — tanning can lead to skin cancer.”  Girard adds, “Through Your Skin Is In we’ve been able to reach a quarter million students over the past 6 years and we hope the message resonates throughout adulthood.  By taking the Tanning is Out pledge these students become empowered to take charge of their own health, and become advocates for safe skin care.”

As part of the campaign, MFNE will hold its annual contest in New England high schools and colleges to further encourages students to make the pledge. Schools with the most signatures will be awarded prizes. In addition, MFNE representatives and young melanoma survivors will travel to these schools to share their stories and to educate students.