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Transl Behav Med. 2017 Jun 7. doi: 10.1007/s13142-017-0510-4. [Epub ahead of print]

Compliance with indoor tanning bans for minors among businesses in the USA.

Author information

1
Yale School of Public Health, 55 Church Street, Suite 801, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA.
2
Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA.
3
Yale School of Public Health, 55 Church Street, Suite 801, New Haven, CT, 06510, USA. leah.ferrucci@yale.edu.
4
Yale Cancer Center, New Haven, CT, 06520, USA. leah.ferrucci@yale.edu.

Abstract

Indoor tanning is a known risk factor for skin cancer and is especially dangerous for adolescents. Some states have passed indoor tanning bans for minors, but business compliance with the bans is not well understood. Thus far, studies have assessed ban compliance in one or two states at a time. This study aimed to assess compliance with indoor tanning bans for minors and knowledge of dangers and benefits of tanning among indoor tanning businesses. Female research assistants posing as minors telephoned a convenience sample of 412 businesses in 14 states with tanning bans for minors under age 17 or 18. We evaluated differences in compliance by census region and years since ban was implemented and differences in reported dangers and benefits by compliance. Most (80.1%) businesses told the "minor" caller she could not use the tanning facilities. Businesses in the south and in states with more recent bans were less compliant. Among those (n = 368) that completed the full interview, 52.2% identified burning and 20.1% mentioned skin cancer as potential dangers. However, 21.7% said dangers were no worse than the sun and 10.3% denied any dangers. Stated benefits included vitamin D (27.7%), social/cosmetic (27.2%), and treats skin diseases (26.4%), with only 4.9% reporting no benefits. While most businesses followed the indoor tanning ban when a minor called, one-fifth did not. Many stated inaccurate health claims. Additional enforcement or education might increase compliance with indoor tanning bans and action is needed to prevent businesses from stating false health information.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent health; Health policy; Indoor tanning; Melanoma; Prevention; Skin cancer

PMID:
28593496
DOI:
10.1007/s13142-017-0510-4
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