Recently, several state indoor tanning laws, including age restrictions, were promulgated to reduce indoor tanning among minors. We examined the effects of these laws on adolescent indoor tanning.
We used nationally representative data from the 2009 and 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior Surveys (n = 31 835). Using multivariable logistic regression, we examined the association between state indoor tanning laws and indoor tanning among US high school students.
Female students in states with indoor tanning laws were less likely to engage in indoor tanning than those in states without any laws. We observed a stronger association among female students in states with systems access, parental permission, and age restriction laws than among those in states without any laws. We found no significant association among female students in states with only systems access and parental permission laws or among male students.
Indoor tanning laws, particularly those including age restrictions, may be effective in reducing indoor tanning among female high school students, for whom rates are the highest. Such reductions have the potential to reduce the health and economic burden of skin cancer.