Comprehensive evaluation of indoor tanning regulations: A 50-State Analysis, 2012

Bridget Gosis, Blake P. Sampson, Andrew B. Seidenberg, Sophie J. Balk, Mark Gottlieb, Alan C. Geller

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Teenage use of indoor tanning has reached epidemic proportions. There is no federal ban on teen use; rather, it is left to each state to determine policy. We conducted a state-by-state analysis using data from each state's statutes and regulations and supplementary information from the National Conference of State Legislatures. First, we refined an earlier 35-item instrument to now include 56 items that extensively measures age bans, parental involvement, warnings/information, enforcement, and operating requirements. To grade each tanning law, we developed a uniform scoring system with a goal of providing performance data for future comparisons. As of August 2012, 13 states had no tanning facility statute or regulation for minors. In states with some regulations, teen bans are lax - nearly uniformly, most young children under the age of 14 can legally tan with or without suboptimal parental consent or accompaniment laws. Strong Food and Drug Administration involvement can simplify and unify the inconsistencies that exist among states' indoor tanning laws. Until consistent regulations are promulgated and enforced, such an instrument can provide a benchmark for state investigations into the deficiencies and progress of their laws, as well as facilitate direct comparison between states for research and educational purposes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)620-627
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Investigative Dermatology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Molecular Biology
  • Dermatology
  • Cell Biology


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