UMass Chan Medical School Faculty Publications

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Medicine, Division of Preventive and Behavioral Medicine; UMass Worcester Prevention Research Center

Publication Date


Document Type



Behavior and Behavior Mechanisms | Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Dermatology | Health Information Technology | Neoplasms | Preventive Medicine | Public Health Education and Promotion | Skin and Connective Tissue Diseases


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

Journal/Book/Conference Title

JAMA dermatology

PubMed ID