While supporting new rules to make indoor tanning salons safer, most young women who frequent the salons oppose a total ban, a new study finds.
The study included 356 white women between ages 18 and 30 in Washington, D.C., who had indoor-tanned at least once in the past year. They completed an online survey about proposals to regulate the indoor tanning industry.
Seventy-four percent supported policies to prevent children younger than 18 from indoor tanning. Nearly 78 percent favored stronger health warnings on tanning devices. Only 10 percent supported a total ban on indoor tanning.
Indoor tanning increases the risk of skin cancer and has been banned in several countries, including Australia and Brazil.
“Given the low levels of support for a total indoor tanning ban, support for other potential policies such as increasing the minimum age to 21 should be investigated to inform future steps to reduce indoor tanning and the associated health risks,” said study leader Darren Mays. He is an assistant professor of oncology at Georgetown University Medical Center in Washington, D.C.
The study was recently published in the journal Translational Behavioral Medicine: Practice, Policy, Research.
Young adult white women are the primary consumers of indoor tanning, Mays added in a journal news release. The study shows they support policies implemented by many state governments and those currently under review for national enactment, he said.
In the United States, more than 3.5 million new cases of skin cancer are diagnosed each year. Ten percent are related to indoor tanning, according to background notes with the study.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more on the dangers of indoor tanning.