Indoor tanning decreased in high school students following age restrictions
The prevalence of indoor tanning decreased in high school students following age restrictions on the practice in New Jersey, according to a study.
“Cumulative lifetime exposure to indoor tanning beds and younger age at first use of indoor tanning are associated with increased risk of melanoma,” the study authors wrote. “Recent reductions in indoor tanning among youths are likely a result of increased public health attention and the proliferation of age restrictions on indoor tanning in many U.S. states.”
Data from four biennial cross-sectional surveys of 12,659 high school students in New Jersey were analyzed. In 2012, the survey began asking, “How many times in the last 12 months have you used a tanning bed or booth with tanning lamps?” The options for the response ranged from 0 to 40 or more times.
In 2016 and 2018, respondents indicated where the tanning beds or booths were used, including “at a tanning salon,” “in my home,” “at a gym or health club” or “in someone else’s home.”
In 2013, New Jersey enacted legislation banning indoor tanning for individuals younger than 17 years.
The overall indoor tanning prevalence significantly decreased from 8.5% in 2012 to 4.6% in 2018. Prevalence decreased from 11.2% to 4.5% in female students and from 5.7% to 4.7% in male students.
The results of this survey showed 8.1% of female students younger than 17 years used indoor tanning in 2012 compared with 3.6% in 2018. The reduction was significant in students older than 17 years as well, decreasing from 19.3% to 6.5% between 2012 and 2018.
Prevalence for male students under 17 years decreased from 5.2% to 3.7%.
“This study adds novel evidence from state-specific data that a ban on indoor tanning among youths may produce the intended reductions in indoor tanning,” the authors wrote.