Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning


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

March 27, 2017

AUGUSTA – The Health and Human Services Committee of the Maine legislature will hold a public hearing today on LD 889, "An Act to Reduce Youth Cancer Risk", which prohibits the use of indoor tanning beds by minors under the age of 18. The American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network

March 9, 2017
New Mexico

New Mexico does not allow anyone under the age of 18 to buy tobacco because it is a known carcinogen. However, under current state law, teens can use tanning devices even though the World Health Organization has classified them as “carcinogenic to humans” – the same category in which they classify tobacco. A bill to change that is headed for a vote by the full House of Representatives this week.

February 6, 2017
New Mexico

Nearly a hundred cancer patients, survivors and caregivers from across the state rode the rails on a whistle stop-style campaign train ride to the state Capitol in Santa Fe today to meet with lawmakers and gain support for cancer-fighting policies.

January 30, 2017

A tanning bed. (Photo: Arizona could ban teens under age 18 from tanning beds if some state lawmakers and physicians get their way. Currently, parents can sign permission slips for minor children to use tanning beds. House Bill 2194, called the

Skin Cancer and Indoor Tanning Resources

Despite reputable scientific studies showing that tanning devices can cause skin cancer, representatives from the indoor tanning industry continue to make exaggerated claims about the health benefits of artificial ultraviolet (UV) light and indoor tanning. This fact sheet debunks many of the most egregious claims made by the industry.

Teens are susceptible to the misleading health claims touted by the tanning industry and are frequent targets of the industry's marketing promotions. This factsheet debunks many of the most egregious claims by the tanning industry.

Skin cancer is the most commonly diagnosed cancer in the US, and rates have been rising for the past 30 years. ACS CAN supports legislative and regulatory initiatives at all levels of government to protect the public from increased skin cancer risk associated with exposure to UV radiation emitted by indoor tanning devices.