What is already known on this topic?
Skin cancer is the most common cancer diagnosed in the United States, affecting more than 3.5 million people. Indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk of developing skin cancer. In the United States, nearly 1 in 5 white women aged 18 to 25 are indoor tanners. This study elicited beliefs about tanning indoors and quitting/cutting back on indoor tanning.
What does this article add?
Forty 18- to 25-year-old white females who engaged in frequent indoor tanning participated in either in-person or telephone interviews. Most were college students from southeastern Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Key themes stated as reasons for indoor tanning included improving physical appearance, social acceptance, increased confidence, and happiness. The main themes identified as advantages of quitting/cutting back on indoor tanning were to decrease skin cancer risk and save money. Perceived disadvantages of quitting/cutting back included themes of concerns about being pale and a decline in self-confidence. The prospect of saving money and warm weather were seen as facilitating quitting/cutting back.
What are the implications for health promotion practice or research?
Findings suggest the necessity of addressing appearance concerns, psychological benefits associated with feeling more attractive, and short-term gains such as saving money. These findings provide a foundation for developing effective anti-indoor tanning communication.
Read the article here:
Frequent Indoor Tanners’ Beliefs About Indoor Tanning and Cessation
Glanz K, Jordan AB, Lazovich D, Bleakley A
American Journal of Health Promotion, 2019 Feb; 33(2):293-299