IMPORTANCE Several state governments have enacted bans on the use of indoor tanning beds at tanning salons among minors, but studies of the association of such restrictions with tanning behavior have produced mixed results. Little is known about the prevalence of tanning in nonsalon locations that are typically not covered by restrictions. Evidence that age bans are associated with a reduction in tanning bed use is needed to support policy makers' efforts to expand tanning regulations. OBJECTIVE To determine the prevalence and location of indoor tanning among New Jersey youths after a 2013 statewide indoor tanning ban for minors younger than 17 years. DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS This survey study comprised 4 biennial (2012-2018) and representative cross-sectional surveys conducted among 12 659 high school students (grades 9-12) in New Jersey. MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES The main outcomewas the frequency of indoor tanning in the past year. Location of tanning bed use (ie, tanning salons or nonsalon locations, such as private residences or gyms) was also assessed. RESULTS Survey responses from a total of 12 659 high school students (6499 female [51%]; mean [SD] age, 15.8 [1.3] years) were analyzed across the 4 survey waves. Tanning prevalence among students younger than 17 years (ie, younger than the legal tanning age) was 48% lower in 2018 compared with 2012 (adjusted odds ratio, 0.52; 95%CI, 0.33-0.81; P = .002). Tanning prevalence was 72%lower among female students 17 years or older (adjusted odds ratio, 0.28; 95%CI, 0.18-0.44; P < .001). Prevalence rates were not significantly different for male students 17 years or older and for racial/ethnic minority students. The prevalence of tanning in salons and private residences was similar among students younger than 17 years. CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE This study suggests that the prevalence of tanning in New Jersey has begun to decrease among all youths younger than the legal tanning age and among female students of legal age in the 5 years after a statewide tanning ban. These findings provide valuable evidence to policy makers to support ongoing state-level efforts to enact age-specific bans on indoor tanning. The unique assessment of tanning location demonstrates the need for both greater enforcement of existing tanning salon regulations to ensure compliance and broadening restrictions to cover nonsalon tanning locations.
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