Indoor Tanning

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In 2017, 7.5% of female adolescents used an indoor tanning device within the past year.

Summary graph for Indoor Tanning, Click to see detailed view of graph

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Introduction

Exposure to artificial ultraviolet radiation (UVR) from indoor tanning beds and sun lamps increases the risk of skin cancer. In July 2014, a Surgeon General’s Call To Action to Prevent Skin Cancer Report was released. One of the goals of this report was to reduce the harms from indoor tanning. In the same year, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) increased the stringency of regulations related to indoor tanning equipment and facilities that provide indoor tanning services, recommended that persons repeatedly exposed to UVR should be regularly evaluated for skin cancer, and changed the classification of such devices to a Class II from a Class I designation. Guy et al.  2017 estimated that restricting indoor tanning among minors under 18 years old may prevent melanoma incidence and mortality and save millions of dollars in treatment costs in the United States. Reports indicate that age restriction laws have been associated with less indoor tanning. Several states have adopted laws restricting youth access to tanning beds, and the FDA has proposed a nationwide restriction for minors’ (under 18 years) access to tanning beds.

Measure

The percentage of high school students (grades 9-12) who reported use of an indoor tanning device such as a sunlamp, sunbed, or tanning booth (not counting receipt of a spray-on tan) one or more times during the 12 months before the survey.

The percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who have used an indoor tanning device one or more times during the past 12 months. Although NHIS-CCS also collected this data for adults in 2005 and 2008, the methodology used likely resulted in overestimates, and these data are not included in the report.

Healthy People 2020 Target

  • Reduce to 14 percent the proportion of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who report using artificial sources of ultraviolet light for tanning.
  • Reduce to 3.6 percent the proportion of adults aged 18 years and older who report using artificial sources of ultraviolet light for tanning.

Healthy People 2020 is a set of goals set forth by the Department of Health and Human Services.
Note: Goals are indicated as blue line on Detailed Trend Graphs.

Data Source

Adolescents: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Youth Risk Behavior Surveillance System (YRBSS), 2009–2017.

Adults: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Center for Health Statistics. National Health Interview Survey NCI and CDC co-sponsored Cancer Control Supplement, 2010-2015.

Trends and Most Recent EstimatesHelp with navigating the graphs and data tables

Adolescents

By Sex
Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex, 2009-2017 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 5.6 4.7 - 6.6
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 3.5 2.9 - 4.3
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 7.5 5.8 - 9.5
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2009-2017 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 5.6 4.7 - 6.6
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 6.6 5.3 - 8.3
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 5.5 4.1 - 7.3
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 3.2 2.7 - 3.9
Females by Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of female adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2009-2017 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 7.5 5.8 - 9.5
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 10.1 7.5 - 13.4
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 3.8 2.5 - 5.8
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 3.0 2.3 - 4.0
By High School Grade
Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017 Grade 9Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 9 3.7 2.7 - 4.9
Grade 10Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 10 4.3 3.3 - 5.7
Grade 11Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 11 5.6 4.3 - 7.2
Grade 12Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 12 8.9 7.2 - 11.0
Females by High School Grade
Percentage of female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of female adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017 Grade 9Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 9 5.0 3.5 - 7.3
Grade 10Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 10 4.2 2.7 - 6.5
Grade 11Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 11 8.1 5.7 - 11.4
Grade 12Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 12 13.0 9.8 - 17.0
Non-Hispanic White Female by High School Grade
Percentage of Non-Hispanic White female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2017)
Percent of female Non-Hispanic White adolescents 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of Non-Hispanic White female adolescents in grades 9 through 12 who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by grade level, 2009-2017 Grade 9Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 9 6.0 3.8 - 9.3
Grade 10Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 10 5.6 3.3 - 9.1
Grade 11Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 11 12.2 8.4 - 17.3
Grade 12Click to see the detailed trend graph for Grade 12 17.3 12.2 - 23.9

Adults

By Sex
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex, 2010-2015 Both SexesClick to see the detailed trend graph for Both Sexes 3.6 3.3 - 4.0
MaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Male 1.7 1.4 - 2.0
FemaleClick to see the detailed trend graph for Female 5.6 5.1 - 6.2
By Race/Ethnicity
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by race/ethnicity, 2010-2015 All RacesClick to see the detailed trend graph for All Races 3.6 3.3 - 4.0
Non-Hispanic WhiteClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic White 5.5 5.0 - 6.1
Non-Hispanic BlackClick to see the detailed trend graph for Non-Hispanic Black 0.2 0.1 - 0.4
HispanicClick to see the detailed trend graph for Hispanic 1.0 0.8 - 1.4
By Age
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by age, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by age, 2010-2015 Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 18-24 6.2 5.1 - 7.5
Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Ages 25+ 3.3 2.9 - 3.6
By Sex and Age
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex and age, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sex and age, 2010-2015 Males, Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, Ages 18-24 1.5 0.9 - 2.5
Males, Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Males, Ages 25+ 1.7 1.4 - 2.0
Females, Ages 18-24Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, Ages 18-24 11.0 9.0 - 13.4
Females, Ages 25+Click to see the detailed trend graph for Females, Ages 25+ 4.8 4.3 - 5.4
By Poverty Income Level
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by poverty income level, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by poverty income level, 2010-2015 <200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for <200% of federal poverty level 2.6 2.2 - 3.0
>=200% of federal poverty levelClick to see the detailed trend graph for >=200% of federal poverty level 4.2 3.7 - 4.6
By Education Level
Percentage of adults aged 25 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 25 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by highest level of education obtained, 2010-2015 Less than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Less than High School 1.6 1.1 - 2.2
High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for High School 3.8 3.1 - 4.6
Greater than High SchoolClick to see the detailed trend graph for Greater than High School 3.4 3.0 - 3.8
By Sun Sensitivity
Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sun sensitivity, 2010-2015
Overview Graph Detailed Trend Graphs Most Recent Estimates (2015)
Percent of adults 95% Confidence Interval
Thumbnail of graph for Percentage of adults aged 18 years and older who used an indoor tanning device in the past year by sun sensitivity, 2010-2015 Sun-SensitiveClick to see the detailed trend graph for Sun-Sensitive 4.5 4.0 - 5.0
Not Sun-SensitiveClick to see the detailed trend graph for Not Sun-Sensitive 3.0 2.6 - 3.5
Sun sensitivity reflects a person's characteristic skin response (e.g., a burn, a burn and then tan, etc.) after prolonged sun exposure or after a long period or season of being relatively unexposed. Though related to sun sensitivity, skin color and ethnicity are not adequate proxies for sun sensitivity.

Evidence-based Resources

Resources are available on sun-protective behaviors that are effective at lowering risk of skin cancer. Visit the sun safety on Cancer Control P.L.A.N.E.T. web portal

Multicomponent community-wide interventions are recommended to prevent skin cancer as well as education and policy approaches.  

Additional Information on Indoor Tanning

For the public

For health professionals

Scientific reports

Statistics

Year Range

2009-2017

Recent Summary Trend Year Range

2013-2017

Summary Tables

Sun Protection

Recent Summary Trend

Falling

Desired Direction

Falling