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.
"Whereas this approach addresses intrapersonal and interpersonal influences of the socioecological model , reducing indoor tanning by adolescents also lends itself to intervention at organizational and environmental levels. For example, schools could be enlisted to refuse advertising or event sponsorship from indoor tanning salons  , health care "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Indoor tanning usually begins during adolescence, but few strategies exist to discourage adolescent use. We developed and tested a parent-teenager intervention to decrease indoor tanning use.
Through focus groups, we identified key messages to enhance parent-teenager communication about indoor tanning, and then developed a pamphlet for parents and postcards for adolescents to use in a direct mail experiment with randomly selected households. Two weeks after the mailing, we asked intervention parents (n = 87) and adolescents (n = 69) and nonintervention parents (n = 31) and adolescents (n = 28) about intervention receipt and content recall, parental concern, monitoring, parent-teenager conversations, and indoor tanning intention.
In intervention households, 54% of mothers and 56% of girls recalled receipt and reported reading materials, but few boys and no fathers did. Among mothers, 57% in intervention households indicated concern about daughters' indoor tanning, and 25% would allow daughters to tan indoors, whereas 43% of nonintervention mothers had concerns and 46% would allow indoor tanning. Fewer girls in intervention households than in nonintervention households thought parents would allow indoor tanning (44% vs. 65%), and fewer intended to tan indoors (36% vs. 60%). Most mothers and daughters who read the intervention materials also reported discussions about indoor tanning. Moreover, the less likely girls were to think that their mothers would allow indoor tanning, the less likely it was that they intended to tan indoors, a relationship mediated by perceptions of maternal monitoring.
A systematic qualitative and quantitative research approach yielded well-received indoor tanning prevention messages for mothers and female adolescents. Enhancing maternal monitoring has potential to decrease adolescent indoor tanning.
Journal of Adolescent Health 05/2013; 52(5 Suppl):S76-82. DOI:10.1016/j.jadohealth.2012.08.009 · 3.61 Impact Factor
"There is specific evidence to support a causal relationship between sunbed use and skin cancer, particularly with exposure before the age of 35 years (IARC, 2006). However, even when some knowledge is gained, evidence from both the USA and Europe indicates that behaviour, particularly among a key user group of adolescents, does not change (Lazovich and Forster, 2005). In July 2009, media prominence was given to research that confirmed the carcinogenic dangers of sunbeds, with headings such as the following: "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The role of the mass media in communicating health-related information to the wider population is the focus of this paper. Using the example of sun protection within the UK, we highlight some of the major challenges to raising awareness of steadily increasing melanoma rates and of effective sun protection strategies. The implications of potential barriers to official sun protection messages via conflicting messages in the media are discussed in terms of editorial on sun protection and in the way in which television programme content portrays the issues. Implications for public policy and future research conclude the paper.
Health Promotion International 03/2011; 26(1):37-45. DOI:10.1093/heapro/daq048 · 1.94 Impact Factor
"Despite evidence of increased knowledge regarding the health risks of UV exposure (Baum and Cohen 1998; Robinson et al. 1997; The Cancer Council, Australia 2007), the incidence of skin cancer continues to rise at a rate of ~3% per year (American Cancer Society 2007). Further, a recent report suggests that melanoma rates have increased by 50% in recent years among young Caucasian women (Purdue et al. 2008), the same population that has displayed increased sun exposure and tanning bed use (Cokkinides et al. 2006; Lazovich and Forster 2005; Robinson et al. 1997). Interventions that are effective for increasing UV protection behaviors have the potential for significant impact on skin cancer incidence. "
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This experiment examined the impact of adding upward and/or downward social comparison information on the efficacy of an appearance-based sun protection intervention (UV photos and photoaging information). Southern California college students (N = 126) were randomly assigned to one of four conditions: control, intervention, intervention plus upward social comparison, intervention plus downward social comparison. The results demonstrated that all those who received the basic UV photo/photoaging intervention reported greater perceived susceptibility to photoaging (d = .74), less favorable tanning cognitions (d = .44), and greater intentions to sun protect (d = 1.32) relative to controls. Of more interest, while the basic intervention increased sun protective behavior during the subsequent 5 weeks relative to controls (d = .44), the addition of downward comparison information completely negated this benefit. Upward comparison information produced sun protection levels that were only slightly (and nonsignificantly) greater than in the basic intervention condition and, as such, does not appear to be a cost-effective addition. Possible mechanisms that may have reduced the benefits of upward comparison information and contributed to the undermining effects of downward comparison information are discussed.
Journal of Behavioral Medicine 12/2010; 33(6):496-507. DOI:10.1007/s10865-010-9279-3 · 3.10 Impact Factor
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