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MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2012 May 11;61(18):323-6.

Use of indoor tanning devices by adults--United States, 2010.


Indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk for skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States. The World Health Organization considers ultraviolet (UV) tanning devices to be a cause of cancer in humans. Exposure to UV radiation, either from sunlight or indoor tanning devices, is the most important, avoidable known risk factor for skin cancer. Annually, skin cancer costs an estimated $1.7 billion to treat and results in $3.8 billion in lost productivity. Reducing the proportions of adolescents and adults who report using artificial sources of UV light for tanning are Healthy People 2020 objectives. Current state-level policies to restrict indoor tanning are directed at youths aged <18 years. To examine the proportion of the adult U.S. population reporting indoor tanning in the past 12 months, CDC and the National Cancer Institute analyzed data from the 2010 National Health Interview Survey (NHIS). Overall, the age-adjusted proportion of adults reporting indoor tanning in the past 12 months was 5.6%, with higher rates among whites, women, and adults aged 18-25 years. Nationwide, the highest rates of indoor tanning were among white women aged 18-21 years (31.8%) and 22-25 years (29.6%). Among white adults who reported indoor tanning, 57.7% of women and 40.0% of men reported indoor tanning ≥10 times in the past 12 months. Continued public health efforts are needed to identify and implement effective strategies for reducing indoor tanning among adults in the United States, particularly among whites, women, and adults aged 18-25 years.

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