We Are Sunshine

North American Tanning Businesses On Board With Vitamin D Fundraiser

Monday, April 14th, 2008

Tanning business owners across North America have already pledged to take part in “D-Feat Breast Cancer” – a fundraising program that in itself increases awareness in your clients and communities that research now connects vitamin D sufficiency with significantly lower rates of breast cancer. The campaign asks your clients to help support the continuation of research into vitamin D’s connection with lower breast cancer rates.

2008-04-14-d-feat-breast-cancer-copy.jpg“It’s not a situation where we want to start from ground zero to investigate whether or not there is a connection between vitamin D and lower breast cancer rates. We want to increase awareness of the solid research that’s already been done, and fund it to its conclusion,” says Smart Tan’s Joseph Levy, who is serving as D-Feat Breast Cancer’s campaign chairman. “This work could have a massive impact on the lives of your friends and communities which makes it an incredible public service opportunity.”

The work to date is impressive:

  • A 2006 paper published in Anticancer Research established that women with higher vitamin D levels are 50-70 percent less likely to develop breast cancer.
  • A 2007 study in the American Journal of Epidemiology reported that women with high sun exposure levels – the most natural and abundant source of vitamin D – had half the risk of developing advanced breast cancer.
  • A 2002 paper in Occupational and Environmental Medicine established that women who received regular sun exposure were less likely to die from breast cancer.

Those specific studies stand out in their category and are on top of hundreds of papers that now establish the role vitamin D plays in cell growth regulation in the body – research that solidifies the mechanism by which vitamin D would prevent or slow the growth of dozens of forms of cancer in the body, including breast cancer.

Why a fund-raiser for breast cancer? It stands out as the leading cause of cancer death in North American women today. In 2008 there will be 200,000 new breast cancer cases discovered in the United States and Canada, and 45,000 women will die from this disease – about 45 times more than will die from non-melanoma skin cancer.

And that too is a comparison that is coming to light. A University of Oslo research team showed this year that 10 times as many cancers are prevented by the vitamin D generated from regular sun exposure than the dermatology industry contends are caused by the sun. (More details on this study are available in the news archive on

All you need to participate in this promotion in May is the easy-to-use D-Feat Breast Cancer kit, which is available right now. The campaign asks your clients to contribute $1 or $5 toward vitamin D-breast cancer research and awareness programs. Call your Smart Tan Member Services representative at 800-652-3269 or 866-795-3755 in Canada to get the kit and take part in this important effort.

The campaign kit includes:

  • The Poster. Campaign participants will receive two campaign posters – an 11×17 inch and an 8 ½ x 11 inch version. The poster increases awareness of research into vitamin D and breast cancer prevention while calling for $1 or $5 donations to fund research. (That’s our suggestion for pledge levels. You can set them at any level you want.)
  • 100 Pledge Markers. Contributors place their name on pledge cards that you can display in your salon. The pledge markers – featuring a D and the pink breast cancer ribbon – also promote the fact that your business is raising money for breast cancer research.
  • 100 Pink “Baller Bands.” The baller band has become synonymous with cancer prevention causes. This one is pink and says “Breast Cancer & Vitamin D Research.” We suggest you distribute them to contributors who donate $5 or more.
  • The Official Window Decal. With the “D-Feat Breast Cancer” logo.
  • Directions for running the campaign and language for a press release and a letter to the editor for your business will also be included in the kit.
  • T-shirts with the official campaign logo will be available for purchase, but aren’t included in the basic kit.