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Online Advertising for Cancer Prevention: Google Ads and Tanning Beds
University of Massachusetts Medical School Faculty Publications
  • Wilmarie Cidre Serrano, Harvard Medical School
  • Mary-Margaret Chren, University of California - San Francisco
  • Jack S. Resneck, Jr., University of California - San Francisco
  • Nepheli N. Aji, University of California, Davis
  • Sherry L. Pagoto, University of Massachusetts Medical School
  • Eleni Linos, University of California - San Francisco
UMMS Affiliation
Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center
Publication Date
Document Type
Google receives more than 3.5 billion Internet searches daily, and the advertisements on their results pages may provide a unique opportunity to transmit targeted public health information to a large audience. Skin cancer is more common than all other cancers combined, and indoor tanning is a preventable risk factor that accounts for more than 450 000 new malignant neoplasms each year. Tanning bed use remains common, with 1 in 5 adolescents and more than half of college students exposed. Awareness of the dangers of tanning beds is one of the factors that can lead to behavior change. The goals of this study were to examine the volume of tanning bed–related searches on Google and pilot the use of Google’s advertising service for dissemination of skin cancer prevention messages to users entering searches related to tanning beds.
  • skin cancer,
  • indoor tanning,
  • tanning beds,
  • Google,
  • dissemination,
  • skin cancer prevention
Rights and Permissions
Copyright © 2016 Massachusetts Medical Society. Publisher PDF posted after 6 months as allowed by the publisher's author rights policy at
DOI of Published Version
JAMA Dermatol. 2016 Jan 1;152(1):101-2. doi: 10.1001/jamadermatol.2015.3998. Link to article on publisher's site
Related Resources
Link to Article in PubMed
PubMed ID
Citation Information
Wilmarie Cidre Serrano, Mary-Margaret Chren, Jack S. Resneck, Nepheli N. Aji, et al.. "Online Advertising for Cancer Prevention: Google Ads and Tanning Beds" Vol. 152 Iss. 1 (2016) ISSN: 2168-6084 (Electronic)
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