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J Public Health Policy. 2019 Jun 14. doi: 10.1057/s41271-019-00175-4. [Epub ahead of print]

The high costs of cheap tanning: pricing and promotional practices of indoor tanning facilities in six cities in the United States.

Author information

1
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA. nancy.asdigian@cuanschutz.edu.
2
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Box B119, Building 500 13001 E. 17th Place, Room E3349, Aurora, CO, 80045, USA. nancy.asdigian@cuanschutz.edu.
3
School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
4
Division of Health Promotion, School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA, USA.
5
Division of Cancer Prevention and Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.
6
Department of Family Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.
7
Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public Health, University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, Aurora, CO, USA.

Abstract

Few studies have investigated pricing and promotional practices used by the indoor tanning industry, despite their potential to promote indoor UV tanning-a well-established risk factor for melanoma skin cancer. Posing as potential customers, we telephoned 94 indoor tanning businesses in six United States (U.S.) cities and requested pricing information. The price of a single tanning session ranged from $0 to $23, and was lower at facilities that offered indoor tanning as a secondary service (mean $4.82 and free in 35%) than at tanning salons (mean $16.45). Session prices in salons could be as low as $1.50 with daily use of an unlimited monthly plan. Free indoor tanning, monthly packages, and memberships encourage increased use. Policies that limit free indoor tanning or that restrict pricing and advertising for indoor tanning exist in several places in the U.S. and Europe. Future research should evaluate whether those policies are effective in reducing indoor tanning.

KEYWORDS:

Indoor tanning; Policy; Pricing; Promotions; Skin cancer

PMID:
31201337
DOI:
10.1057/s41271-019-00175-4

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