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Echoes of Big Tobacco as the tanning industry fights back

ABC News
ABC News

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Afraid of letting those gleaming white legs loose for the summer? Need a layer of brown to boost your confidence? Don’t worry, you’re in the same boat as millions of other Americans. Despite studies that indicate indoor tanners have a 74 percent greater risk of developing melanoma, the tanning industry has shown continued growth over the last three years. A new article by FairWarning.org, an online, nonprofit publication whose mission is to spotlight reckless business practices and lax oversight by government agencies, argues that industry insiders might be using Big Tobacco tactics to achieve this growth, such as “portraying doctors and other health authorities as...villains” part of a “Sun Scare Industry” that conspires to perpetuate a vitamin D epidemic. Other tactics include evading a regulation that forbids tanning salon operators from making misleading statements about any health benefits or risks related to tanning by encouraging their representatives to stay quiet while at work, but speaking up for the benefits of tanning salons while off duty.


Have you ever used a tanning bed? Do you think the effects are as dire as these studies suggest?


Bridget Huber, a staff writer at FairWarning, an online, nonprofit publication that spotlights reckless business practices and lax oversight by government agencies