Background: U.S. adolescents and young adults are using indoor tanning at high rates, even though it has been linked to both melanoma and squamous cell cancer. Because the availability of commercial indoor tanning facilities may influence use, data are needed on the number and density of such facilities.
Methods: In March 2006, commercial indoor tanning facilities in 116 large U.S. cities were identified, and the number and density (per 100,000 population) were computed for each city. Bivariate and multivariate analyses conducted in 2008 tested the association between tanning-facility density and selected geographic, climatologic, demographic, and legislative variables.
Results: Mean facility number and density across cities were 41.8 (SD=30.8) and 11.8 (SD=6.0), respectively. In multivariate analysis, cities with higher percentages of whites and lower ultraviolet (UV)index scores had significantly higher facility densities than those with lower percentages of whites and higher UV index scores.
Conclusions: These data indicate that commercial indoor tanning is widely available in the urban U.S., and this availability may help explain the high usage of indoor tanning.