• Open Access

Changes in solarium numbers in Australia following negative media and legislation


Correspondence to:
Ms J. Makin, Centre for Behavioural Research in Cancer, Cancer Council Victoria, 100 Drummond Street, Carlton South Vic 3053. Fax: (03) 9635 5380; e-mail: Jen.Makin@cancervic.org.au


Objective: To monitor changes in the number of indoor tanning facilities in Australia's capital cities following widespread negative publicity and the introduction of legislation in some states.

Methods: An audit of listings under Solarium/Tanning Centres in the most recent hard copy Yellow Pages for Australia's capital cities was conducted, and results were compared with those from a previous audit from 2006.

Results: There was a 32% drop in solarium listings for Australia's capital cities between 2006 and 2008/09. In most cases, larger decreases were observed in states where legislation was introduced.

Conclusions: Despite underestimating solarium numbers, regular audits of business listings can be a useful way of monitoring trends, particularly when more accurate figures are not available. Solarium numbers can decrease following a combination of negative publicity and legislation.

Implications: To achieve and maintain predicted reductions in skin cancer incidence, mortality and costs to the health system, solarium legislation should be a priority for those states where it has not yet been introduced, accompanied by compliance monitoring and enforcement to ensure it is effective.