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J Am Acad Dermatol. 2010 Jul;63(1):63-70. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2009.09.019. Epub 2010 Mar 11.

Enacting legislation to restrict youth access to tanning beds: a survey of advocates and sponsoring legislators.

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  • 1Boston University School of Medicine, Boston, Massachusetts 02118, USA.



Passing tanning bed legislation restricting underage use has remained challenging.


We sought to determine the resources required to pass tanning bed legislation restricting use to children and identify key barriers to its passage.


A total of 15 states sought to pass tanning bed legislation in 2006; in-depth surveys were completed with advocates in 10 states and legislators in 5 states.


Advocates sought advice from the sponsoring legislator or legislators (n = 9), held discussions with other organizations (n = 8), and used a lobbyist (n = 5). The 3 major barriers were strong lobbying efforts by the tanning bed industry (n = 10), proceedings after the bill was filed (n = 5), and obtaining support from other organizations (n = 4). For legislators, the most significant barrier was making colleagues aware of the health effects of tanning bed use.


Five of 10 legislators and 10 of 15 advocates responded to the survey.


Barriers to passage of tanning bed legislation can potentially be surmounted with advice to advocates and coordinated efforts by multiple organizations.

Copyright (c) 2009 American Academy of Dermatology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

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