Translational Behavioral Medicine

, Volume 4, Issue 1, pp 124–126 | Cite as

Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM) position statement: ban indoor tanning for minors

  • Sherry Pagoto
  • Joel Hillhouse
  • Carolyn J Heckman
  • Elliot J Coups
  • Jerod Stapleton
  • David Buller
  • Rob Turrisi
  • June Robinson
  • Alan C Geller
Practice and Public Health Policies


The Society of Behavioral Medicine (SBM), an interdisciplinary professional organization focused on the science of health behavior joins the American Academy of Dermatology, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and a host of other national and international organizations in support of a total ban on indoor tanning for minors under the age of 18. According to the International Agency for Research on Cancer, artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation are in the highest category of carcinogens, joining tobacco and asbestos. Strong evidence links indoor tanning to increased risk for melanoma with repeated exposure during childhood being associated with the greatest increase in risk. Several countries and five US states have passed legislation banning indoor tanning in minors. We strongly encourage the remaining US states to do the same in an effort to protect children and prevent new cases of melanoma. SBM also strongly encourages research that explores the use of tanning beds in the home. Home-based indoor tanning has the potential to be especially dangerous given the complete absence of safety regulations. Children are currently protected from exposure to health-harming substances like tobacco and lead; thus, legislation protecting them from artificial sources of ultraviolet radiation is yet another important step forward in improving public health.


Skin cancer Indoor tanning Melanoma Prevention Health policy 


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Copyright information

© Society of Behavioral Medicine 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sherry Pagoto
    • 1
  • Joel Hillhouse
    • 2
  • Carolyn J Heckman
    • 3
  • Elliot J Coups
    • 4
  • Jerod Stapleton
    • 4
  • David Buller
    • 5
  • Rob Turrisi
    • 6
  • June Robinson
    • 7
  • Alan C Geller
    • 8
  1. 1.University of Massachusetts Medical SchoolWorcesterUSA
  2. 2.East Tennessee State UniversityJohnson CityUSA
  3. 3.Fox Chase Cancer CenterPhiladelphiaUSA
  4. 4.University of Medicine and Dentistry New JerseyNew BrunswickUSA
  5. 5.Klein Buendel, IncGoldenUSA
  6. 6.Penn State UniversityUniversity ParkUSA
  7. 7.Northwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  8. 8.Harvard School of Public HealthBostonUSA

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