Registered Tanning Salons More Common Than Other Businesses in Florida

In Florida, there is one tanning salon for every 15,113 people and 1.16 tanning facilities for every 50 squares miles, according to a research letter by Sonia A. Lamel, M.D., of the University of Miami, and colleagues.

Indoor tanning is linked to melanoma and nonmelanoma skin cancer development, especially if people tan before the age of 35 years. Florida has the second highest incidence of melanoma in the country with frequent use of tanning facilities by teenage girls and young adults, according to the study background.

Researchers analyzed the number of registered Florida tanning facilities and the types of services offered at each. They compared the number of tanning facilities with the number of other common Florida businesses.

There are more tanning facilities (n=1,261) than McDonald’s (n=868), CVS pharmacies (n=693) and other businesses, only Bank of America ATMs (n=1,455) were more common, according to the study findings. Most tanning facilities offered tanning only and many facilities were housed in residential buildings and fitness and wellness centers.

“Further investigation of the impact of indoor tanning facility type, geographic location, and use on skin cancer incidence may promote regulation of these carcinogenic devices and guide health interventions. Moreover, efforts to restrict false advertising and complimentary indoor tanning may be warranted,” the authors conclude.

(JAMA Dermatol. Published online December 25, 2013. doi:10.1001/.jamadermatol.2013.6329.