BACKGROUND: Indoor tanning is associated with an increased risk of melanoma. The US Food and Drug Administration proposed prohibiting indoor tanning among minors younger than 18 years.
OBJECTIVE: We sought to estimate the health and economic benefits of reducing indoor tanning in the United States.
METHODS: We used a Markov model to estimate the expected number of melanoma cases and deaths averted, life-years saved, and melanoma treatment costs saved by reducing indoor tanning. We examined 5 scenarios: restricting indoor tanning among minors younger than 18 years, and reducing the prevalence by 20%, 50%, 80%, and 100%.
RESULTS: Restricting indoor tanning among minors younger than 18 years was estimated to prevent 61,839 melanoma cases, prevent 6735 melanoma deaths, and save $342.9 million in treatment costs over the lifetime of the 61.2 million youth age 14 years or younger in the United States. The estimated health and economic benefits increased as indoor tanning was further reduced.
LIMITATIONS: Limitations include the reliance on available data and not examining compliance to indoor tanning laws.
CONCLUSIONS: Reducing indoor tanning has the potential to reduce melanoma incidence, mortality, and treatment costs. These findings help quantify and underscore the importance of continued efforts to reduce indoor tanning and prevent melanoma.