The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has given UV tanning beds the highest cancer risk category and calling them "carcinogenic to humans." The IARC, which is part of the World Health Organization, asserted that tanning beds are even more dangerous than previously found in earlier research studies. In fact, tanning beds are in the same group as asbestos, arsenic, and tobacco products.
Even more alarming is that their research found that individuals that began their use of UV tanning beds before age 30 increase their risk of cancer by 75%.
I've always been so mystified to see people using tanning beds to "look better." Wrinkled, leathery skin is what you will end up with when you abuse your skin with UV and over-sun exposure. Abusing tanning beds looks so unhealthy, besides the cancer risk. People don't realize it because in their mind, they think they look great.
My skin tans very easily even with the sunscreen because of my Latina heritage. However, I wear sunscreen every day and try to spend time in the shade to avoid burns and over-exposure.
Check out my "Mid-Summer Survival Tips" post for an audio interview of a dermatologist on protecting your skin against sun damage, including preventing cancer. Read the Reuters article for more details.