Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning


The misperceptions and deception around indoor tanning is pervasive. Despite the industry's claims of "healthy and attractive skin," the science is very clear.  The ultraviolet (UV) radiation caused by indoor tanning beds is proven to cause skin cancer.   

We're working in state legislatures across the country to prohibit teenagers - and anyone under age 18 - from using tanning beds, booths and other indoor tanning devices.  Skin cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the nation and results in nearly 14,000 deaths per year. 

One in nine high school girls have used a tanning device.

Latest Updates

March 15, 2019

ANNAPOLIS - Earlier today, Maryland’s Senate passed a bill that would prohibit those under 18 from using indoor tanning devices in the state. Yesterday, the House of Delegates passed the same legislation. Following is a statement from Jocelyn Collins, Maryland’s government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action

March 5, 2019

A statement by the ACS CAN’s Mississippi government relations director on the state legislature’s failure to protect those 17-years-old or younger from cancer-causing indoor tanning devices.

February 13, 2019

Kimberly Hughes, Mississippi government relations director at American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN), issued a statement on the Senate’s passage of a bill that will protect anyone 17-year-olds and younger from cancer-causing indoor tanning devices.

February 5, 2019

Cancer patients, survivors and advocates from the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) rallied at the Capitol in Annapolis today in support of raising the minimum sales age for all tobacco products to 21, prohibiting minors under the age of 18 from using tanning devices and other cancer prevention issues.

Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning Resources

The greatest avoidable known risk factor for skin cancer is the use of indoor tanning devices. Yet, each year, approximately nine million Americans engage in indoor tanning. The desire for a tanned appearance causes many people, especially young adults and teenagers, to ignore the serious risks and health warnings and use indoor tanning devices.

Despite reputable scientific studies showing that tanning devices can cause skin cancer, misconceptions about the risks and dangers of indoor tanning persist. This is due, in part, to misleading advertising and health claims by the tanning industry. This fact sheet debunks many of the most egregious industry claims about indoor tanning.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and rates have been rising for the past 30 years. This factsheet discusses the types of skin cancer, risk factors for the disease, and how it can be prevented.