The fact that indoor tanning salons run the state of Florida will surprise very few people. However, putting that dominance into context might raise a few eyebrows.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal reports that there are more indoor tanning salons in the state than CVS drugstores and McDonald's restaurants. Think about that—especially the last fact—for a second:
As of October 2012, there were 1,261 indoor tanning facilities licensed by the Florida Department of Health, or one tanning salon per 15,113 people and 1.16 tanning facilities per every 50 square miles. Most tanning facilities offered tanning only and many facilities were housed in residential buildings and fitness and wellness centers.
In contrast, there were 868 McDonald’s, 765 Publix Supermarkets, 693 CVS drugstores and 624 Bank of America branches, the research letter said.
The Tampa Bay Business Journal adds that the only thing more common than tanning salons in Florida are Bank of America ATMs. However, the issue with the prolific nature of the tanning salon is its connection to skin cancer:
Indoor tanning is linked to melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer development, especially if people tan before the age of 35 years. Florida has the second highest incidence of melanoma in the country with frequent use of tanning facilities by teenage girls and young adults, a press release discussing the research letter said.
Attention, Florida: Don't go tanning, go to the bank, McDonald's or drugstore instead.