He's stopping tanning salons that lie: Why the Attorney General of New York is my new BFF

Make no mistake. The indoor tanning industry is out to make money, and many businesses don’t care if you die in the process from the melanoma you may get from using their tanning beds. Tanning beds that have been classified by the International Agency for Research on Cancer, a working group of the World Health Organization as carcinogenic to humans, the highest (worst) rating that can be given. Right up there with arsenic and tobacco. Thankfully, there are people like Eric Schneiderman, the Attorney General of New York, who are taking some of them to task for lying to you. Schneiderman’s office has now sued two such tanning businesses for false advertising.  As reported by the New York Daily News, these businesses allegedly are not only attempting to minimize the risk of cancer, but they’re being bold enough to claim that tanning actually provides some health benefits.  As if.

The businesses named in the lawsuits are Portofino Spas and Total Tan. Two other salons have been sent Notices of Intent that they may be sued because of the same conduct as Portofino and Total Tan. Both businesses made claims that indoor tanning was an excellent source of Vitamin D. Again…as if. The only thing that tanning beds are an excellent source of is UV radiation and a high probability of getting some type of skin cancer. Science has proven that again and again. The risk of getting melanoma, the deadliest form of “skin” cancer increases by a whopping 75% when tanning beds are used just ONCE before age 35. Some of the businesses that are being investigated went so far as to tell people that indoor tanning “reduced the risk of certain cancers.” Total Tan has cited a marketing professor who believes the company hasn’t broken any laws. I’m curious when marketing professors became qualified to make such statements. I guess it’s a marketing degree with a side of law thrown in?

New York is one of 12 states in the country that has banned indoor tanning by teens at some age, so I find it not at all surprising that these companies are alleged to be making false claims. They’re losing money after all. Dollars that are precious to them.

As a Stage IV melanoma patient who spent a lot of time in tanning beds in the 90s, I really appreciate what Mr. Schneiderman is doing by going after these businesses. Assuming it’s confirmed that the businesses are making false claims, lives will be saved, and that’s big Mr. Schneiderman. Very big. Thank you.

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