American Cancer Society Says Wisconsin Could Improve Cancer Prevention

More Physical Education Classes, Better Indoor Tanning Laws Would Help, Group Says

feet in a tanning bed
Emergency Brake (CC-BY-NC-ND)  

A national cancer group is out with its annual report on what states can do to prevent and fight cancer. Among the recommendations for the state of Wisconsin is more physical education in schools and tougher laws on indoor tanning beds.

Indoor tanning restrictions are just one criteria the American Cancer Society used to assess state’s ability to prevent cancer. In Wisconsin, one must be 16 years or older to use an indoor tanning bed. Eleven states and the District of Columbia require customers to be 18.

Sara Sahli, of the society’s Wisconsin chapter, said it’s not a good idea for adolescents to start tanning.

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“I think about growing up in a small Midwestern community in a state that doesn’t have tanning laws, and I think I started tanning at the age of 14,” said Sahli. “And I (am) really regretting that at this point.”

The American Cancer Society report gives Wisconsin high marks for its cigarette taxes and smoke-free laws. The state got lower ratings for allowing some minors to tan indoors and for its funding of quit smoking programs.

Overall, Wisconsin scored worse than Minnesota, Illinois and Michigan.