PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractSkin Cancer is the most common type of cancer. Skin Cancer occurs when the DNA of skin cellsbegin to abnormally mutate, a process typically caused by Ultraviolet Radiation (UVR) emitted by the sun and indoor tanning booths. Individuals can reduce their risk of Skin Cancer by limiting or avoiding exposure to UVR. At a much larger level, states can pass legislation that supports sun-safety education programs and increases Skin Cancer prevention awareness. Colleges and universities also have the ability to prevent Skin Cancer by passing their own Skin Smart policies, in order to deter students from indoor tanning practices. Before starting my Honors Thesis, I conducted a literature review to familiarize myself with previous research and current Skin Cancer prevention techniques. As I scoured the internet, I came across an article on the Skin Smart Campus Award. The Skin Smart Campus Initiative was designed by the National Council on Skin Cancer Prevention to encourage colleges to implement policies that discourage students from using UV tanning facilities. Currently, only twelve colleges have received this award. The goal of my Honors Thesis was to assure that the University of Arizona received this certification. In order to get the University of Arizona (U of A) certified as a Skin Smart Campus, a number of policy changes neededto be made. Although the U of A didn’t have any indoor tanning booths on campus and already had a Skin Cancer educational webpage, Cat Cards could be used to purchase UV tanning and apartments were able to list indoor tanning as an amenity on off-campus housing websites. At both CatCa$h and Off-Campus Housing, people were worried about changing the current policies and any potential legal repercussions. After meeting with various university administrators, CatCa$h changed their policy, as the only indoor tanning facility agreed to no longer accept CatCa$h as a payment for UV tanning. Furthermore, U of A administration agreed to include a policy barring students from using CatCards to pay for indoor tanning, joining restrictions already in place for alcohol and cigarettes. In order to meet the final Skin Smart Campus criteria, a policy preventing apartments from listing “Indoor/ UV Tanning” as an amenity on the U of A Off-Campus housing website must be made. Currently, off-campus housing facilities do not have the option to select “indoor tanning” as an amenity; however, they could include it in the “description” box. This policy change is still a work in progress. As part of the work to learn how to approach changing policies, I collected data on how many changes needed to be made at the other certified Skin Smart Campuses. Before contacting and interviewing anyone, I sent my interview questions to the IRB and got them approved. I then spoke with people at eight other Skin Smart colleges and discovered that almost 90% of said universities initially had apartments with indoor tanning listed on their off-campus housing website. Additionally, over half of these colleges originally allowed for university debit cards to pay for UV tanning. Finally, few of these colleges already had an educational webpage dedicated to Skin Cancer prevention. In my opinion, the U of A already had one of the better Skin Cancer Educational programs and should receive the Skin Smart Campus certification relatively soon.
Degree ProgramPublic Health