Journal of Community Health

, Volume 38, Issue 2, pp 221–224 | Cite as

Community Variation in Adolescent Access to Indoor Tanning Facilities

  • Ardis L. Olson
  • Heather A. Carlos
  • Rachel A. Sarnoff
Original Paper


Melanoma rates among younger women in New Hampshire (NH) are rising. In urban studies, youth proximity to tanning facilities has been linked to indoor tanning, a proven cause of melanoma. Youth access has not been examined in rural settings. To determine on a statewide basis the influence of rurality and community income level on female students’ ease of access to tanning facilities, all NH tanning facilities (N = 261) and high schools (N = 77) in 2011 were spatially and statistically analyzed to determine schools with more facilities within 2 miles of the school and greater capacity (fewer female students per facility), for indoor tanning. Schools above the state-wide average for both measures were classified as “Easy Access” to indoor tanning. Among NH high schools, 74 % have 1 or more tanning facility within two miles and 22 % have “Easy Access” to tanning facilities. Ease of access did not differ by rurality. Lower-income school status was an independent predictor of both greater capacity and “Easy Access”. While urban and rural teens have similar access to indoor tanning, female students in lower-income communities have easier access. Variations in access by community size and income must be considered in planning interventions to address youth indoor tanning.


Recreational tanning Skin neoplasms Adolescence Rural communities 



We are grateful to the Paul K. Richter and Evalyn E. Cook Richter Memorial Fund and the Norris Cotton Cancer Center GeoSpatial Resource for their financial support of this project.

Conflicts of interest

The authors declare there are no conflicts of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ardis L. Olson
    • 1
    • 2
    • 3
  • Heather A. Carlos
    • 2
    • 3
  • Rachel A. Sarnoff
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PediatricsGeisel School of Medicine at DartmouthLebanonUSA
  2. 2.Norris Cotton Cancer Center, Geisel School of MedicineDartmouth Hitchcock Medical CenterLebanonUSA
  3. 3.Dartmouth CollegeHanoverUSA

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