The end of tanning parlors

In the ‘70s, commercial tanning beds were introduced. In less than 3 decades, over half of adults in northern Europe reported using them.

Now, growing evidence of health risks is leading to restricted access to indoor tanning, worldwide.

Here’s what we know.

  • Countries with nationwide indoor tanning legislation restricting access by people less than 19 years of age:
    • 2 countries in 2003
    • 11 countries in 2011
  • 6 states or territories in Australia restrict indoor tanning for all minors.
  • A province and a region in Canada have implemented youth tanning laws.
  • 8 states, in addition to 3 preexisting state laws, in the US have implemented indoor tanning legislation since 2003.

The bottom line?

  • Long-term health risks of indoor tanning
    • Premature aging
    • Immune suppression
    • Cataract and other eye injuries
    • Skin cancers
  • Skin cancer is the most common cancer in the United States.
    • ~20% of Americans will develop skin cancer in their lifetime.
  • Evidence points to an association between tanning bed use and squamous cell and basal cell carcinomas.
  • Data increasingly demonstrate an association between tanning bed use and melanoma.

7/24/12 22:42 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.