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Banning Youth Use of Tanning Bed Would Be Cost-Effective

Ban could reduce the number of melanoma cases and decrease lifetime health care costs, despite compliance costs

By Physician’s Briefing Staff | April 12, 2021

A tanning bed ban for U.S. minors would be cost-effective, according to a study published online April 12 in Cancer.

Antoine Eskander, M.D., from the University of Toronto, and colleagues modeled the potential health benefits and costs of banning tanning bed use by adolescents (aged 14 to 17 years).

The researchers found that full adherence to the ban prevented 15,102 melanoma cases and 3,299 recurrences among 17.1 million minors, saving $342.9 million in treatments costs over the lifetime of 61.2 million youth and providing an increase of 0.0002 quality-adjusted life years. A ban remained the dominant strategy despite the intervention costs of the ban and the economic losses to the indoor-tanning industry, with a savings of $12 per minor and $205.4 million among 17.1 million minors. For varying inspection costs and ban compliance, the findings remained robust, but were sensitive to a lower excess risk for melanoma with early exposure to tanning beds.

"When balancing measures are accounted for in an extended societal perspective analysis, even with extensive sensitivity analyses on the costs of inspections, noncompliance with a ban, and the risk of developing melanoma in those who have used tanning beds, a ban can be considered highly cost-effective," the authors write.

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