A Fast Track Open Access article published in the Health Behavior and Policy Review Journal.


Christopher S. Carpenter, PhD
Michelle Marcus, PhD
Mary-Margaret Chren, MD
Brandyn F. Churchill, PhD


Our objective was to determine whether state SUNucate laws – which have been adopted by 27 states and require schools to permit youths to carry and apply sunscreen on school grounds – were associated with changes in Google Search behavior for words and phrases related to sun protection as well as self-reported sunscreen use by youths.


This was an observational study examining: (1) Google Trends search popularity for terms such as ‘sunscreen’ and ‘SPF’ by state, month, and year for 2004-2022; and (2) self-reported sunscreen use by high school youth in the national Youth Risk Behavior Survey during 2009-2019.


State SUNucate laws were associated with increased Google search popularity of terms related to sun protection. Google search popularity for “sunscreen” increased by 27.2% (95% CI 12.67% to 41.7%; p < .001). State SUNucate laws were also associated with increased sunscreen use among high school youths by 8.3% (95% CI 0.014% to 15.0%; p < .05).


State SUNucate laws may be effective tools for increasing population search behavior for sun protection terms and youth sunscreen use.

Source: Health Behavior and Policy Review
Publisher: Paris Scholar Publishing Ltd.
Article Link: https://doi.org/10.14485/HBPR.10.4.1