A study of tanning operators in the state of Kansas: their attitudes and stated practices regarding minors and tanning
It is estimated that thirty million Americans will tan this year and about two million of them will be teens. Exposure to ultraviolet rays seems to be the most important environmental factor in developing skin cancer. About twenty-three states have passed some type of legislation on youth access to tanning. Kansas has no regulations on youth access to tanning. Few studies have been done regarding whether tanning operators support or oppose youth access restrictions.
Methodology: The purpose of this study was to evaluate the basic demographics, attitudes and stated practices regarding youth access to tanning among Kansas tanning operators. A survey was mailed to Kansas tanning facilities regarding these questions and results were analyzed using descriptive statistics.
Results: The survey response rate was 28% (n=651). The majority of the respondents felt that there was “none to a little risk” with indoor tanning (60%). Most did feel that someone can be too young to tan and 65% had discouraged one from tanning because of their age. Results indicate 92% of operators support written parental consent, yet they are not enforcing that a parent needs to accompany them on there first visit.
Conclusion: The youth population needs to be aware of the associated risks and increased correlation of skin cancers with indoor UV tanning. By surveying a selected group of tanning facility operators in Kansas; this study provided insight into their perceptions regarding youth access to tanning. It was shown that the majority of operators believed that written parental consent and age regulations for indoor tanning should be required. This study also illustrated tanning facility operators’ attitudes and stated practices regarding youth access to tanning in Kansas. In the end, this study may be helpful to legislators in regards to knowledge about whether tanning operators’support or oppose tanning regulations.