ETSU professor featured in national magazine article about tanning


JOHNSON CITY (September 8, 2014) – Dr. Joel Hillhouse, director of East Tennessee State University’s Skin Cancer Prevention Laboratory, recently was featured in an article published by a national magazine.

Olga Khazan, a staff writer for The Atlantic, a publication that focuses on a variety of news-based topics including cultural trends, interviewed Hillhouse in August for the article titled, “The End of Tanning?”

In it, Hillhouse talks about the “cultural shift” toward a better understanding of the dangers related to tanning. “Fifteen years ago, you would not have seen an article in Seventeen or Cosmopolitan about the dangers of indoor tanning, but now it’s very common,” he states in the article.

Hillhouse further discusses the need to focus anti-tanning campaigns on how tanning can disfigure a person’s skin overtime. He also talks about his research success in pointing younger woman toward websites that promote clothing and jewelry styles that go with natural skin tones.

“We provided access to information on how you develop a look that’s focused around a more natural skin color,” he is quoted as saying. “Then they’ll start to change their behavior.”

The article was published online on Aug. 25. To read the article in its entirety, visit

Hillhouse is the associate dean for research and a professor in the ETSU College of Public Health. He has been doing work in prevention science for more than 20 years and is widely considered the nation’s foremost researcher on indoor tanning.

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