Term of Award

Spring 2016

Degree Name

Doctor of Public Health in Public Health Leadership (Dr.P.H.)

Document Type and Release Option

Dissertation (open access)

Copyright Statement / License for Reuse

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


Department of Health Policy & Management (COPH)

Committee Chair

Robert Vogel

Committee Member 1

Joseph Telfair

Committee Member 2

Julie Reagan


Background: With the increasing popularity in recent years, tattoos are no longer considered taboo but rather becoming a mainstream mode of self-expression so the inherent risks associated with tattooing could have a greater impact on the public’s health.

Objective: The study aims to gain an understanding and describe the perceptions and opinions of tattoo artists regarding tattoo regulations in the United States.

Methods: Data were collected through an online survey using a descriptive, survey research design. Survey responses were used from 1,315 study participants.

Results: There were 5 health policy related items evaluated: 1) tattoo artists should be licensed, 2) tattoo artists need training on bloodborne pathogens and communicable diseases, 3) tattoo regulations help prevent infectious diseases, 4) tattoo laws and regulations are enforced in my area, and 5) tattoo establishments should be licensed. Of the 6 independent variables (hypothesis) tested, there were at least 3 with a statistically significant association with each of the 5 policy related items. Ordinal regression was used to further evaluate the associations in which a negative relationship was discovered between tattooing at home and tattoo artists should be licensed (OR 0.461; 95%CI: 0.285, 0.745) and tattoo establishments should be licensed (OR 0.466; 95%CI: 0.279. 0.778). Tattooing location, tattoo shop, had a positive relationship with tattoo establishments should be licensed (OR 1.801; 95%CI: 1.050, 3.089) in which tattoo artists that tattoo in a tattoo shop are almost 4 times as likely to support licensing for tattoo establishments than tattoo artists that perform tattooing at home.

Conclusion: There were associations discovered between being a member of a professional tattooing association, owning a tattoo shop, or tattooing at home and various tattoo regulations and standards of practice of tattooing.