Compliance with age and skin type restrictions following the introduction of indoor tanning legislation in
The study aimed to establish compliance of indoor tanning businesses with 2009 legislation, particularly with requirements to provide information on skin cancer and exclude people under 18 or with fair skin.
Compliance was tested through surveys and in‐person visits to 30 businesses in
Communicating the risks of skin cancer during the visit improved from 70% in 2003, prior to the introduction of legislation, to 97% in 2009. While there were improvements in restricting access to sunbeds among high‐risk groups, compliance of indoor tanning businesses with age and skin type restrictions remained less than optimal. Almost half (47%) allowed access to fair‐skinned research assistants, compared with 90% in 2003. Only one of the 30 operators allowed access to a teenager who prompted with her age; in 2003, 52% of under age teenagers were granted access without parental consent. However, when teenagers concealed their age or claimed to be 18, 80% of operators granted them access.
The findings suggest that regulation of the indoor tanning industry is a better approach to this health issue than voluntary standards and/or education. Nonetheless, inadequate compliance with requirements to exclude high‐risk groups lends weight to calls for stricter monitoring and enforcement, or an absolute ban.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: December 1, 2011