Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning

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The misperceptions and deception around indoor tanning is pervasive. Despite the industry's claims of "healthy and attractive skin," the science is very clear.  The ultraviolet (UV) radiation caused by indoor tanning beds is proven to cause skin cancer.   

We're working in state legislatures across the country to prohibit teenagers - and anyone under age 18 - from using tanning beds, booths and other indoor tanning devices.  Skin cancer remains the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the nation and results in nearly 14,000 deaths per year. 

One in nine high school girls have used a tanning device.

Latest Updates

May 22, 2018
New Mexico

The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network will host a news conference on Don’t Fry Day, the Friday before Memorial Day, to raise awareness of sun safety and encourage everyone to take steps to protect their skin.

April 11, 2018
Illinois, Missouri

Nearly ninety cancer survivors, caregivers and advocates from across the state traveled to the Missouri State Capitol today to call on the General Assembly to make cancer a top legislative priority. Coaches from four state colleges joined volunteers in representation of the Coaches vs. Cancer initiative, a nationwide collaboration between the American Cancer Society and the National Association of Basketball Coaches.

March 22, 2018
Nebraska

The following letter was published in the Omaha World Herald on February 12, 2018 Skin cancer is the most common form of all cancers in the United States and one that, despite repeated education efforts about the dangers of the sun and indoor tanning devices, continues to take the

March 22, 2018
Nebraska

The following letter was published in the Lincoln Journal Star on January 14, 2018 The American Cancer Society estimates that about 10,000 Nebraskans will be newly diagnosed with cancer this year, including a projected 540 cases of skin cancer. That’s why I support a bill being

Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning Resources

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States, and rates have been rising for the past 30 years. Nearly 13,500 men and women are expected to die of skin cancer in 2018, and over 9,300 of those deaths will be from melanoma. This factsheet discusses the types of skin cancer, risk factors for the disease, and how it can be prevented.  

The greatest avoidable known risk factor for skin cancer is the use of indoor tanning devices. Yet, each year, approximately nine million Americans engage in indoor tanning. The desire for a tanned appearance causes many people, especially young adults and teenagers, to ignore the serious risks and health warnings and use indoor tanning devices.

Despite reputable scientific studies showing that tanning devices can cause skin cancer, misconceptions about the risks and dangers of indoor tanning persist. This is due, in part, to misleading advertising and health claims by the tanning industry. This fact sheet debunks many of the most egregious industry claims about indoor tanning.