The End of Tanning?

There haven't been any national American campaigns like this yet. But a "your skin on sun"-type strategy might make tanning go the way of smoking—another cancer-causing pastime that has declined precipitously in recent decades. Research has shown that appearance-based ads are the most effective kind for urging younger users to quit smoking.

Hillhouse also said he's seen success with pointing younger women toward websites that promote clothing and jewelry styles that go with fair skin, since many believe tanning is essential to their overall "look."

"We provided access to information on how you develop a different look that's focused around a more natural skin color," he said. "Then they'll start to change their behavior."

In that case, paging "36 Celebrities Who Prove Pale is the New Tan" to the propaganda department!

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Olga Khazan is a staff writer at The Atlantic, where she covers health.

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