Fewer people are hitting the tanning booth before hitting the beach.

But federal health officials fear it isn't enough, reiterating that there are strong links between indoor tanning and cancer.

One million fewer women and men used indoor tanning devices such as beds, booths or sunlamps between 2010 and 2013, a decrease from 5.5 percent of the population in 2010 to 4.2 percent, according to a new study from the National Cancer Institute.

Despite the decrease, health officials have said that nearly 8 million women and nearly 2 million men still use indoor tanning devices.

Tanning beds have been linked to increased risk of skin cancer and other health problems.

A 2014 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association Dermatology estimated indoor tanning was responsible for about 450,000 skin cancer cases around the world. It also contributed to more than 10,000 melanoma cases, a more severe form of skin cancer, according to the study.

The biggest drop in tanning was among young women ages 18 to 29, which decreased from about 11 percent in 2010 to 8 percent in 2013. Indoor tanning still remains popular with that age group, the institute said.

The other age group where tanning is popular is men ages 40 to 49. Indoor tanning rates for those men dropped from 2.6 percent to 1.8 percent, according to the institute.

The institute's study looked at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's 2010 and 2013 National Health Interview Surveys, which ask Americans a wide range of health questions.

Public health officials have sought to raise awareness about the health risks of tanning beds for several years.

The decrease in indoor tanning may actually be due to that awareness, said Anne Hartman, study co-author who works at the National Cancer Institute.

"The ultraviolet rays that bronze skin eventually thin and damage it," she said.

Hartman debunked a common reason people flock to the tanning beds, which is to get a "base tan." That helps to protect against skin damage from the sun, but there is no such thing "as a base tan, whether you tan outdoors or indoors," she said.

Other federal agencies have weighed in on the issue. The Food and Drug Administration, which approves tanning beds, now subjects approval applications to more scrutiny.

Obamacare also imposed a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services, which the report cites as a possible cause for the drop in popularity. A tanning salon must collect the tax from each person paying for the service, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Since the federal tax was imposed in 2010, more than 9,000 salons have closed, according to the American Suntanning Association.

The tanning industry has vociferously fought against the adverse health claims as well as the tax.

The association, an industry group formed in 2012, has pointed to a bill in the House to repeal the tanning tax. The bill, sponsored by Rep. George Holding, R-N.C., was introduced last month and is now in the House Ways and Means Committee.

The group also has pointed to studies that have shown tanning beds can help improve vitamin D deficiencies, which can be improved through the ultraviolet light from the devices.