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PPP-82 Indoor Tan-Free Skin Smart Campus Policy: Platinum Level

pdf iconPPP-82 Indoor Tan-Free Skin Smart Campus Policy: Platinum Level


East Tennessee State University is committed to providing a safe and healthy learning and living environment for the students, faculty, and staff on its campus.  Therefore, East Tennessee State University hereby adopts the following indoor tan-free college campus policy.

Section 1: Findings and Intent

The 2014 Surgeon General’s Call to Action to Prevent Skin Cancer report concluded that there is a strong association between increased risk of skin cancer and indoor tanning use.  As documented in the report, “indoor tanning is of strong concern because it has been estimated to be related to more than 400,000 cases of skin cancer in the United States each year: 245,000 Basal Cell Carcinomas (BCC), 168,000 Squamous Cell Carcinomas (SCC), and 6,000 melanomas.”[1] Ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure from indoor tanning is completely avoidable which allows for interventions to help reduce skin cancer related illness and deaths. The Call to Action set a national goal of preventing skin cancer and protecting youth from UV exposure. Two of these strategies are to, “support organizational policies that discourage indoor tanning by adolescents and young adults” and “enforce existing indoor tanning laws and consider adopting additional restrictions.”

Numerous studies have found that skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States, with melanoma as one of the most common cancers diagnosed among young adults. A meta-analysis of 27 informative studies published in the British Medical Journal in 2012 found an increase in the risk for melanoma in people who first used indoor tanning facilities in their teen years and twenties.[2] It concluded that the use of indoor tanning facilities before the age of 35 increases the risk for melanoma by 59 percent.

Despite these risks, indoor tanning is common among adolescents and young adults with 37% of white adolescent females and 11 % of white adolescent males having used indoor tanning facilities at least once in their lifetime.[3]

According to a recent study from the University of Massachusetts Medical School, indoor tanning facilities are commonly found on and around US college campuses.[4] The study surveyed the top 125 US colleges and found that 48% had indoor tanning facilities either on campus or in off-campus housing, and 14% of colleges allow campus cash cards to be used to pay for tanning.[5] Because adolescents are more likely to tan if they live in close proximity (within 2 miles) of an indoor tanning salon, on-campus tanning facilities pose a major threat to the health of the young adults in our nation.[6][7][8] Additionally, the availability of unregulated indoor tanning devices in dormitory or college gym settings can further increase health risks by increasing the amount of UV exposure experienced without operators or time limits to possibly mitigate length of exposure.[1]

Accordingly, East Tennessee State University finds and declares that the purpose of this policy is to protect the public health and welfare by prohibiting indoor tanning on campus or in college buildings (gyms, student centers, dormitories etc.).

Section 2: Definitions

  1. “Phototherapy device” means equipment that emits ultraviolet radiation and is used in the diagnosis or treatment of disease or injury.
  2. “Tanning device” means equipment that emits electromagnetic radiation having wavelengths in the air between 200 and 400 nanometers and that is used for tanning of human skin and any equipment used with that equipment, including but not limited to protective eyewear, timers and handrails. Such term shall not include a phototherapy device used, or prescribed for use, by a physician.
  3. “Tanning facility” means any location, place, area, structure, or business that provides persons access to any tanning device, including tanning salons, health clubs, gyms, student centers, dormitories, regardless of whether a fee is charged for access to the tanning equipment.

Section 3: Policy

In light of the above findings, the East Tennessee State University campus shall be Indoor Tan-Free at the Platinum Level. The Platinum Level is reached upon meeting all of the required Skin Smart Campus criteria, as outlined below, in a campus-wide policy.

As such, indoor tanning devices are prohibited on the East Tennessee State University campus or in university-affiliated buildings.

Additionally, East Tennessee State University meets all of the following criteria:

  • East Tennessee State University will not list any off-campus housing that includes indoor tanning as an amenity on the university’s off-campus housing listings website.
  • East Tennessee State University will not permit any indoor tanning salon to be included as an ID BUC$ off-campus merchant.
  • East Tennessee State University must provide access to educational programming (e.g., educational website) focusing on the risks of UV exposure and skin cancer prevention practices to students, faculty and staff at all times. 

The success of this policy will depend on the thoughtfulness, consideration, and cooperation of all students, faculty, and staff sharing in the responsibility for adhering to and enforcing this policy. Violations of the policy will be treated in accordance with general campus disciplinary procedures.

This Policy shall be effective as of Monday, July 11, 2016.

[1] Wehner MR, Chren M, Nameth D, et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol. 2014;150(4):390-400

[2] Boniol B, Autier P, Boyle P, Gandini S. “Cutaneous melanoma attributable to sunbed use:

systematic review and meta-analysis”. British Medical Journal, 2012; 345:e4757. Correction published December 2012; 345:e8503

[3] Demko CA, Borawski EA, Debanne SM, Cooper KD, Stange KC. Use of indoor tanning facilities by white adolescents in the United States. Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. Sep 2003;157(9):854-860.

[4] Pagoto SL, Lemon SC, Oleski JL, et al. Availability of Tanning Beds on US College Campuses. JAMA dermatology. Oct 29 2014.

[5] Ibid

[6] Ibid

[7] Hoerster KD, Mayer JA, Woodruff SI, Malcarne V, Roesch SC, Clapp E. The influence of parents and peers on adolescent indoor tanning behavior: findings from a multi-city sample. J Am Acad Dermatol. Dec 2007;57(6):990-997.

[8] Mayer JA, Woodruff SI, Slymen DJ, et al. Adolescents' use of indoor tanning: a large-scale evaluation of psychosocial, environmental, and policy-level correlates. American journal of public health. May 2011;101(5):930-938.

[9] Pagoto SL, Lemon SC, Oleski JL, et al. Availability of Tanning Beds on US College Campuses. JAMA dermatology. Oct 29 2014.

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