Enforcement of state indoor tanning laws in the United States

Joni A. Mayer, Katherine D. Hoerster, Latrice C. Pichon, Debra A. Rubio, Susan I. Woodruff, Jean L. Forsterb

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Introduction Twenty-eight US states have passed legislation for indoor tanning facilities. To our knowledge, whether these state laws are actually enforced has not been evaluated previously in all 28 states. Therefore, we interviewed key informants in these states to assess enforcement practices. Methods Two trained interviewers used a structured survey instrument to interview 28 key informants who were knowledgeable about enforcement practices for laws regarding indoor tanning. Respondents provided information specific to the most populous city in their states. Results Licensure for indoor tanning businesses was required in 22 of the 28 cities. Slightly less than half of the cities gave citations to tanning facilities that violated state law. Approximately 32% of the cities did not inspect indoor tanning facilities for compliance with state law, and another 32% conducted inspections less than annually. Of those cities that inspected at all, most conducted unannounced inspections. Conclusion The relatively low rates of annual inspections and citations are of concern. We recommend that future studies assess whether legislation, enforcement practices, or a combination of the 2 affects the practices of indoor tanning facilities or of consumers.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number194
JournalPreventing Chronic Disease
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2008

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was supported by the National Cancer Institute, grants R01 CA093532, R01 CA093532S1, and K05 100051. The following were partially responsible for study concept and design: Dr George Belch, Dr James Sallis, Dr Donald Slymen, Ms Elizabeth Clapp, and Ms Rebecca Garrow, San Diego State University; Dr Todd Gilmer, University of California Medical School, San Diego; and Dr Martin Weinstock, Veterans Administration Medical Center and Brown University. We thank Ms Lorri Freitas of the San Diego County Health and Human Services Agency and Dr Donald Bishop of the Minnesota Department of Health for valuable feedback on the survey instrument and the survey participants for their time and effort.


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