High school girls are less likely to engage in indoor tanning if they live in states that keep teens under a certain age out of salons and have other laws restricting indoor tanning, a new study finds.
The study suggests such laws work to discourage a popular behavior linked to an increased risk of skin cancer, say researchers from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The study was published in the American Journal of Public Health.
About 23% of high school girls and 6.5% of high school boys reported indoor tanning in surveys of nearly 26,000 students taken in 2009 and 2011, the researchers say. But girls in states with any tanning laws were 30% less likely to tan inside. And girls who lived in states that set an age limit for tanning, required parental permission for teens under the age limit and required salons to post warning signs, limit advertising or follow other regulations were 42% less likely to tan inside. Boys’ rates did not appear to be affected.
Health experts want to discourage all kinds of tanning. In addition to skin cancer, tanning and sun burning are associated with wrinkles and skin aging.