Indoor Tanning Legislation: Shaping Policy and Nursing Practice
Donna W. Driscoll and Jennifer Darcy
Legislation exists regulating adolescentsí use of tanning beds; however, the rate at which adolescents use these devices has not been reduced. The purpose of this study was to provide an analysis of indoor tanning bed legislation in the United States specifically related to legal issues and parental consent along with enforcement of current laws. The investigators collected data via review of state health department websites or telephone interviews of identified contacts for all 50 states. Findings reveal wide variation in legislation related to adolescentsí access to tanning devices and enforcement of violation of legal statutes. Nurses and other health care professionals can play key roles in educating families and adolescents to the dangers from the use of tanning beds along with being role models for proper skin protective behaviors. In addition, nurses should become advocates by supporting legislative efforts that ban tanning salons for all minors, with the long-term goal of reducing skin cancer caused by ultraviolet radiation (UVR) exposure from the use of tanning salons today.