A 1997 study at the UA, entitled the Stay Healthy Program, asked 952 college students about tanning and sunscreen use (Robin Harris, unpublished data). About 28% of males and 35% of females reported sunbathing just to tan at least some of the time and only 13% of students always put on sunscreen when going out in the sun. Thus, college students are still very much at high risk for sun over-exposure and possible skin cancer.
Surveys continue to demonstrate that young adults are still determined to get a suntan utilizing tanning facilities and still spend substantial time in the sun. The American Academy of Dermatology cites that indoor tanning before the age of 35 has been associated with a significantly increased melanoma risk. Seventy percent of the more than one million Americans that use indoor tanning each day are girls and women, primarily 16 to 29 years old.
The CITY100 project identified what influences teens to use indoor tanning. CITY stands for “Controlling Indoor Tanning in Youth.” The “100” refers to the most populous U.S. cities (according to the year 2000 Census), where the project interviewed over 6,000 teens. A broad range of influences was evaluated, including whether teens lived near indoor tanning businesses and whether they lived in a state with an indoor tanning law. The project was funded by the National Cancer Institute and was conducted by researchers at San Diego State University. The purpose of the CITY100 website is to share the findings, conclusions, and recommendations from the CITY100 project. For more information about CITY100, please visit http://indoortanningreportcard.com/index.html.
Introduced legislation in Arizona for 2011-2012 would prohibit minors under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning facilities!
For the latest information on state laws for indoor tanning, visit www.ncsl.org/default.aspx.