Compliance with age and skin type restrictions following the introduction of indoor tanning legislation in Melbourne, Australia

Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, Carlton, Vic., Australia.
Photodermatology Photoimmunology and Photomedicine (Impact Factor: 1.26). 12/2011; 27(6):286-93. DOI: 10.1111/j.1600-0781.2011.00613.x
Source: PubMed


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 Melbourne, Australia. Research assistants presented as potential customers with different profiles: young adults eligible to use a sunbed, young adults with fair skin, under age customers who prompted with their age and under age customers who concealed their age and claimed to be 18 if asked.
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.

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    • "A 2007 study conducted by the University of Utah on tanning facility compliance to prior (and less restrictive) age-bans found that only 27% of facilities in Salt Lake County were compliant with parental consent regulations [18]. Similar national studies have found low levels of regulation compliance from tanning facilities in states with some form of teen access bans [19–21]. Enforcement of current indoor tanning bans represents an important component of policy success, nationwide. "
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    ABSTRACT: Introduction. Adolescent use of indoor tanning facilities is associated with an increased risk in later development of melanoma skin cancers. States that have imposed age restrictions on access to indoor tanning generally show lower self-reported rates of indoor tanning than states with no restrictions, but currently no studies have assessed indoor tanning use before and after such restrictions. Methods. In 2013, we compared self-reported indoor tanning data collected in the Prevention Needs Assessment (PNA) survey in 2011 to PNA 2013 data. We also assessed predictors of continued tanning after passage of the bill. Results. Prior to the passage of Senate Bill 41, 12% of students reported at least one incident of indoor tanning in the past 12 months. After passage, only 7% of students reported indoor tanning in the past 12 months (P < 0.0001). Students who continued indoor tanning were more likely to be older and female and to engage in other risk behaviors, including smoking and alcohol use. Lower parental education levels were also associated with continued tanning. Conclusion. Indoor tanning restrictions showed beneficial impact on tanning rates in adolescents in Utah. Stricter restrictions may show even greater impact than restrictions that allow for parental waivers. Stronger enforcement of bans is needed to further reduce youth access.
    08/2014; 2014:839601. DOI:10.1155/2014/839601
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    ABSTRACT: Aim Sunbed use can have severe health consequences, e.g. skin cancer, especially for children and adolescents. Therefore, our aim was to quantify how many adolescents use tanning beds despite a legal ban in Germany. In addition, we aimed at identifying characteristics of users and at analyzing reasons for use and user behavior. Subjects and methods The nationwide representative SUN-Study 2012 included a subgroup of 518 minors (14–17 years). Besides calculating the prevalence, we used bivariate statistics to identify user groups and to compare minors with adults in terms of reasons for use, place of last use, and obtained advisory service. Results Overall, 8.7 % of minors had ever used a sunbed; 5.2 % used it during the last 12 months. Out of these, nearly a half was not aware of the legal ban for minors. Users were mainly smokers, had darker skin, and a migration background. Compared to adults, minors were more likely to use unsupervised sunbeds and were less frequently advised by service personnel. Conclusion The data showed that minors use tanning beds, although there is a legal ban in Germany. The circumvention of the ban and the widespread use of unsupervised sunbeds underline the importance of education and further legal requirements.
    Journal of Public Health 10/2013; 21(5). DOI:10.1007/s10389-013-0570-y · 2.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Tanning beds used according to the manufacturer's instructions expose the user to health risks, including melanoma and other skin cancers. Applying the MPOWER model (monitor, protect, offer alternatives, warn, enforce, and raise taxes), which has been used in tobacco control, to tanning bed reform could reduce the number of people at risk of diseases associated with tanning bed use. Among the tactics available to government are restricting the use of tanning beds by people under age 18 and those with fair skin, increasing the price of tanning bed services through taxation, licensing tanning bed operators, and banning unsupervised tanning bed operations.
    Preventing chronic disease 02/2013; 10(2):E28. DOI:10.5888/pcd10.120186 · 2.12 Impact Factor
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