Reducing minor indoor tanning ineffective
State laws limiting indoor tanning for minors have had little impact despite the skin cancer risks, U.S. researchers said.
Vilma Cokkinides of of the American Cancer Society in Atlanta and colleagues conducted two population-based telephone surveys, one in 1998, and an identical survey in 2004. They surveyed U.S. teens ages 11-18 and their parents or guardians. Participants were asked whether they had used an indoor tanning booth or sunlamp in the past year and the number of times it had been used.
The use of indoor tanning by adolescents changed little from 1998 to 2004, increasing from 10 percent in 1998 to 11 percent in 2004. In states with policies on minors’ access to indoor tanning, the prevalence of the practice stayed the same or decreased over this period, while it increased in states without such policies — but in both cases the change was not statistically significant.
Five factors that were significantly associated with indoor tanning use: older age, being female, having a positive attitude towards a tan, having a parent or guardian who used indoor tanning, and having parents’ permission to use indoor tanning, the study said.