The high costs of cheap tanning: pricing and promotional practices of indoor tanning facilities in six cities in the United States

  • Nancy L. AsdigianEmail author
  • Yang Liu
  • Joni A. Mayer
  • Gery P. GuyJr.
  • L. Miriam Dickinson
  • Lori A. Crane
Original Article


Few studies have investigated pricing and promotional practices used by the indoor tanning industry, despite their potential to promote indoor UV tanning—a well-established risk factor for melanoma skin cancer. Posing as potential customers, we telephoned 94 indoor tanning businesses in six United States (U.S.) cities and requested pricing information. The price of a single tanning session ranged from $0 to $23, and was lower at facilities that offered indoor tanning as a secondary service (mean $4.82 and free in 35%) than at tanning salons (mean $16.45). Session prices in salons could be as low as $1.50 with daily use of an unlimited monthly plan. Free indoor tanning, monthly packages, and memberships encourage increased use. Policies that limit free indoor tanning or that restrict pricing and advertising for indoor tanning exist in several places in the U.S. and Europe. Future research should evaluate whether those policies are effective in reducing indoor tanning.


Skin cancer Indoor tanning Pricing Promotions Policy 



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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Limited 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nancy L. Asdigian
    • 1
    • 6
    Email author
  • Yang Liu
    • 2
  • Joni A. Mayer
    • 3
  • Gery P. GuyJr.
    • 4
  • L. Miriam Dickinson
    • 5
  • Lori A. Crane
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  2. 2.School of MedicineUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  3. 3.Division of Health Promotion, School of Public HealthSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Division of Cancer Prevention and ControlCenters for Disease Control and PreventionAtlantaUSA
  5. 5.Department of Family Medicine, School of MedicineUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA
  6. 6.Department of Community and Behavioral Health, Colorado School of Public HealthUniversity of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusAuroraUSA

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