Indoor tanning by adolescents: prevalence, practices and policies.
ABSTRACT Despite known acute and chronic health effects from the use of indoor tanning, including the potential for all forms of skin cancer, the practice is popular in the United States (US) and Europe. A review of the scientific literature that examines adolescents and indoor tanning use was undertaken, summarising what is known about prevalence and practices among adolescents, characteristics associated with adolescent use, and policies that regulate adolescent access to indoor tanning facilities. The prevalence of indoor tanning is consistently found to be higher among girls than boys and to increase with age in both Europe and the US. An examination of other demographic characteristics, skin cancer risk factors, knowledge, attitudes and social factors points to higher prevalence of the behaviour among adolescents with positive attitudes towards tans and whose friends or parents also tan indoors. Adolescent access to indoor tanning is rarely regulated in the US or Europe, and where regulations exist, business compliance is low. In addition, businesses actively market their product to adolescents as they organise to limit further regulations prohibiting adolescent access. Pricing, licensure, advertising restrictions and media campaigns, in combination with adolescent-targeted interventions, are possible strategies that could be tested for their effectiveness to reduce adolescent indoor tanning use. Harm reduction policies, such as eye protection, that reduce risk for adolescents who choose to tan indoors, are also important.
SourceAvailable from: Smita C Banerjee[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: This paper explored how imaginary audience and personal fable ideations contribute to adolescent indoor tanning intentions directly and indirectly through the way they shape pro-tanning attitude and association with peers who use tanning beds. Five hundred and ninety-five male (n = 207) and female (n = 387) adolescents, ranging in age from 11 to 19 (M = 16.87; SD = 1.34) years completed a cross-sectional survey. Measures included imaginary audience, personal fable (three dimensions: invulnerability, uniqueness, and omnipotence), pro-tanning attitude, association with peers who use tanning beds, and tanning bed use intentions. Bootstrapping analyses documented that imaginary audience ideations are indirectly associated with indoor tanning intentions through the mediation of pro-tanning attitude and association with peers who use tanning beds. Of the personal fable ideations, only invulnerability ideation is indirectly associated with indoor tanning intentions through the mediation of association with peers who use tanning beds. Design and evaluation of interventions and campaigns to reduce indoor tanning must be targeted to adolescents varying in imaginary audience ideations differently.Journal of Youth Studies 08/2014; 18(3):357-375. DOI:10.1080/13676261.2014.963536 · 1.38 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Aims Socio-cultural values placed on skin tanning equating with health and attractiveness, along with recommended avoidance of excessive UV exposure has fuelled the manufacture, sale and dissemination of synthetic tanning agents. These agents are synthetic analogues of the naturally occurring melanocyte-stimulating hormones (α-MSHs) which stimulate darkening pigmentation of the skin. Despite health marketability and online consumerism, user focused research to date is limited. Methods The study presents a unique phenomenological study of user experiences as described on a popular melanotan web resource. Seven themes containing 91 categories were generated from the 467 discussion threads analysed using the Empirical Phenomenological Psychological (EPP) five step method. Results Melanotan use is covert by nature and grounded in intentions to achieve a natural looking tan. Positive outcomes outweigh potential risk perceptions in users, despite awareness of lack of regulation of synthetic tanning products and absence of user instructions. Products are marketed online as ‘lifestyle choices’, sold as ‘research chemicals’ and labelled ‘not for human use’ to avoid regulation. A host of acute and chronic side effects, and options for pharmaceutical management of histamine and dermatological responses were described. Conclusions Findings illustrate the importance of cyber forums in advocating tentative and calculative approaches to injecting preparation, dosage, photo therapy, loading and maintenance regimes using Melanotan I and II. Implications Determination of how to respond effectively to market forces and cyber communities of users necessitates continued researcher, clinician, policy maker and practitioner dialogue, along with ongoing surveillance of trends of sale, supply and use.07/2014; DOI:10.1016/j.peh.2014.05.001
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ABSTRACT: Life-style-associated exposure to sunlight is a contributory factor for acute and chronic skin damage including malign melanoma. The aim of the present study was to investigate the current gender-specific attitudes and motives regarding sun tanning and sunlight protective behaviour among Austrian residents. In this cross-sectional study, a convenient sample of 563 Austrian inhabitants participated in a self-reported questionnaire-based outdoor survey. We subjected the data obtained to statistical analysis to get insight into socio-demographic and sun risk behaviour-related inter-group differences (smoking habits as well as gender). The survey revealed significant gender differences in respect to sun protective behaviour and knowledge on adverse health effects of ultraviolet light exposure. Female participants achieved a higher knowledge score, showed higher risk awareness, and performed more sun protection (all p < 0.0001). Male participants were more likely to underestimate the dangers of unprotected sun exposure, consistently resulting in a higher frequency of reported sunburns in men (p = 0.005). Although smoking habits were gender-independent, smokers compared with non-smokers sun bathed more frequently with less sun protection (all p < 0.0001), and were less sportive (p = 0.035). The study provides empirical data contributing to the development of novel approaches for target group and gender-specific Public (Skin) Health education programs and information materials. Revised strategies for improved skin health promotion and skin cancer prevention should focus on the benefits of sun light avoidance regarding long-term deterioration of physical appearance and attractiveness.Wiener klinische Wochenschrift 11/2014; 127(3-4). DOI:10.1007/s00508-014-0643-0 · 0.79 Impact Factor