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Transl Behav Med. 2014 Jun;4(2):209-19. doi: 10.1007/s13142-014-0257-0.

Quitting the "Cancer Tube": a qualitative examination of the process of indoor tanning cessation.

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Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 641 Lexington Avenue, 7th Floor, New York, NY 10022 USA.
Department of Social and Behavioral Sciences, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA USA.
Survey & Data Management Core, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, MA USA.
Pediatrics, Dana-Farber Children's Cancer Care, Boston, MA USA.


This study examined health belief model (HBM) relevant constructs in the context of indoor tanning cessation. Telephone interviews were conducted between December 2011 and April 2012 with participants drawn from the Growing Up Today Study (GUTS) population, specifically, former tanning bed users (N = 14, all females; mean age, 25.65 years) who reported frequent use in 2007, but had quit by 2010. Participants identified important motivations for quitting including health and financial reasons and the central role of family and friends in providing encouragement for indoor tanning cessation. However, participants also noted substantial barriers to maintaining indoor tanning quitting (e.g., social pressures to look good, tanning salon incentives). Participants' experience of withdrawal highlighted psychological factors more often than physical factors; some were open to resuming use in the future. The findings will be useful in intervention development to encourage cessation, the strengthening of policies to regulate the indoor tanning industry, as well as public health messaging to raise awareness of this prevalent, easily accessible cancer risk behavior.


Health belief model; Indoor tanning; Qualitative research; Tanning cessation; Tanning quitting

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