We Are Sunshine

Texas Attorney General Challenges Texas Tanning Salon’s Advertising Campaign

Thursday, November 13th, 2008

The Texas Attorney General’s office — pursuing a case tantamount to suing Christopher Columbus for claiming the world is round — has filed suit against a Texas tanning salon chain whose ads claim that tanning is an excellent source of vitamin D.

2008-11-12-the-darque-side-tanningnews-copy.jpgThe state filed suit against Houston-based Darque Tan on Monday, claiming the salon company went too far in suggesting that indoor tanning is an abundant source of vitamin D and alleging that some Darque Tan employees made statements about the health effects of vitamin D. “Defendants make the health or medical claim that indoor tanning increases the user’s intake of vitamin D and that increased levels of vitamin D have been shown to reduce the incidence or risk of cancer,” the AG said in its filing. “Defendants then make health or medical claims that using their tanning devices increases vitamain D levels, thereby reducing the user’s risk of developing cancer.”

The state cites statements it alleges were made by a Darque Tan employee about therapeutic effects of vitamin D.

Darque Tan’s advertising makes no such therapeutic claims — merely that tanning makes vitamin D.

The statement that tanning makes vitamin D is not a therapeutic claim. Independent research has affirmed that indoor tanning units that emit UVB light make vitamin D, and that indoor tanners have significantly higher vitamin D blood levels as compared to non-tanners.

In other words: UVB light triggers melanin production — a fact salons are obligated to report to clients. It also triggers vitamin D production.

Smart Tan will continue to follow this case.