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Am J Public Health. 2018 Jul;108(7):951-956. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304414. Epub 2018 May 17.

State Indoor Tanning Laws and Prevalence of Indoor Tanning Among US High School Students, 2009-2015.

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Jin Qin, Dawn M. Holman, Zahava Berkowitz, and Gery P. Guy Jr are with the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA. Sherry Everett Jones is with the Division of Adolescent and School Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA.



To examine the association between state indoor tanning laws and indoor tanning behavior using nationally representative samples of US high school students younger than 18 years.


We combined data from the 2009, 2011, 2013, and 2015 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (n = 41 313) to analyze the association between 2 types of state indoor tanning laws (age restriction and parental permission) and the prevalence of indoor tanning during the 12 months before the survey, adjusting for age, race/ethnicity, and survey year, and stratified by gender.


Age restriction laws were associated with a 47% (P < .001) lower indoor tanning prevalence among female high school students. Parental permission laws were not found to be associated with indoor tanning prevalence among either female or male high school students.


Age restriction laws could contribute to less indoor tanning, particularly among female high school students. Such reductions may reduce the health and economic burden of skin cancer.

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