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Am J Public Health. 2014 Feb;104(2):e7-9. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2013.301703. Epub 2013 Dec 12.

The role of public health advocacy in achieving an outright ban on commercial tanning beds in Australia.

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Craig A. Sinclair is with the Prevention Division, Cancer Council Victoria, Victoria, Australia. Jennifer K. Makin is with the Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria. Anita Tang, Irena Brozek, and Vanessa Rock are with the Health Strategies Division, Cancer Council New South Wales, Woolloomooloo, Australia.


Although many countries still face opposition to the legislation of artificial tanning beds, all Australian states and territories have announced a total ban on commercial tanning beds. A combination of epidemiological and policy-centered research, powerful personal stories, and the active advocacy of prominent academics, cancer organizations, and grassroots community campaigners contributed to the decisions to first legislate standards and then ban all commercial tanning beds. We have illustrated that incremental change can be an effective pathway to securing substantial public health reforms.

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