Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning

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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

December 3, 2018
Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) -- Senate Majority Whip Maryellen Goodwin has been recognized by the Rhode Island branch of the American Cancer Society for her efforts to ban anyone who is under 18 years old from using an indoor tanning bed. Goodwin sponsored a new law which prohibits the use of

October 17, 2018
National

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN) released a publication today to illustrate health disparities across the cancer continuum and discuss public policy strategies to address those disparities. Cancer Disparities: A Chartbook illustrates the scope of cancer disparities that exist in the United States.

Cancer Candor Blog
August 13, 2018

Great news out of the Northeast this summer, where both the New York and Rhode Island state legislatures passed bills that prohibit all minors under the age of 18 from using indoor tanning devices.

August 9, 2018

State lawmakers across the country are missing important opportunities to pass and implement proven legislative solutions to prevent and fight cancer, according to a report released today by the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network (ACS CAN). How Do You Measure Up?: A Progress Report on State Legislative Activity to Reduce Cancer Incidence and Mortality grades states on the strength of evidence-based policies that help to prevent cancer, which kills roughly 1,670 people a day nationwide, forces patients to pay nearly $4 billion in out-of-pocket expenses every year and in 2015 cost the country more than $80 billion in direct medical expenditures.

Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning Resources

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and rates have been rising for the past 30 years. Nearly 13,500 men and women are expected to die of skin cancer in 2018, and over 9,300 of those deaths will be from melanoma. This factsheet discusses the types of skin cancer, risk factors for the disease, and how it can be prevented.  

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.