Document Type



Media is loading

Publication Date



Capstone Advisor: Amy Leader, DrPH, MPH, Thomas Jefferson University


The worldwide incidence of skin cancer has dramatically increased over the last few decades and may be attributed to the increased use of tanning beds. The purpose of this study was to compare indoor tanning legislation around the world and within the United States to recommend the most feasible state legislation to decrease skin cancer rates associated with indoor tanning. GLOBOCAN 2012 was used to identify the ten countries worldwide with the highest incidence rate of melanoma. Eight states in the US were selected for analysis: six states with legislation regulating sunbed use and two local states without existing legislation. Data about each country’s and state’s legislation was organized in an Excel spreadsheet. Interviews with key national and international stakeholders in cancer-related organizations or public offices were conducted to identify challenges in advocating for legislation. Results showed that legislation varied extensively by country, with one country close to a complete ban on sunbed use, five countries with no legislation regulating sunbed use, and four countries with partial restrictions on sunbed use. Enforcement issues included a lack of resources to effectively monitor tanning facilities, particularly in countries with unstaffed sunbeds. Among the six US states with legislation, the state health department is most often responsible for monitoring compliance. Common themes from the stakeholder interviews included the importance of a strong coalition, debunking tanning bed myths, the need for enforcement, and the extensive amount of time required to pass legislation. The proposed state policy would ban those under age 18 from using a sunbed regardless of parental or physician consent. Additionally, all tanning facilities would register with the state and pay an annual fee based on the number of tanning beds in the facility. This fee would cover the costs associated with monitoring tanning facilities and enforcing the new state law.

Presentation: 22 minutes