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Addict Behav. 2015 Feb;41:247-51. doi: 10.1016/j.addbeh.2014.10.026. Epub 2014 Nov 1.

Ultra-violet indoor tanning addiction: a reinforcer pathology interpretation.

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University of Kansas, United States. Electronic address:


Ultra-violet indoor tanning (UVIT) is a pervasive issue that is increasing at record rates, despite obvious and well-publicized links to skin cancer. Recent studies on UVIT have found that frequent users face difficulty quitting and report symptomatology similar to substance-related disorders, causing the medical field to begin classifying excessive UVIT use as an addicting behavior. Despite calls for research, relatively little behavioral research has been aimed at determining the psychology of UVIT. This mini-review reinterprets the existing dermatology literature in light of the reinforcer pathology model of addiction. The relevancy of this model, in conjunction with the similarities between UVIT addiction and other substance-related addiction, suggests that behavioral economic research on UVIT is overdue. This mini-review concludes with directions for future research in this area.


Behavioral economics; Demand; Discounting; Reinforcer pathologies; Tanning

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