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Teens less apt to use tanning beds in states with restrictions

Feb. 14, 2014 at 12:59 AM   |   Comments

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ATLANTA, Feb. 14 (UPI) -- U.S. high school girls are more likely to use indoor tanning in states with no laws restricting the body browning activity, health officials say.

A study, published online in the American Journal of Public Health, found the odds of female students engaging in indoor tanning were 30 percent less in states that restricted the practice than in states without

regulations.

Among U.S. high school students, 23.4 percent of females engaged in indoor tanning, versus 6.5 percent of males.

"State indoor tanning laws, especially age restrictions, may be effective in reducing indoor tanning among our nation's youth," lead author Gery Guy, a health economist at the Division of Cancer Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, said in a statement.

"We need to address the harms of indoor tanning, especially among children. Indoor tanning laws can be part of a comprehensive effort to prevent skin cancers and change social norms around tanned skin."

The numbers of states implementing new laws, particularly age restrictions, have increased substantially in recent years.

Increased exposure to ultraviolet radiation via indoor tanning might be partially responsible for the continued increase in melanoma in the United States, Guy said.

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