Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159 #546672-00006

Submission Number:
Cindy Smith
American Academy of Dermatology
Initiative Name:
Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159
To whom it may concern, The evidence is indisputable. UV exposure increases skin cancer risk. Every year the data to support this increases. The WHO supports this position. Yet the ITA continues to expound on UV health benefits and characterize dermatologists as "Scare Doctors." A dermatologist has NO financial incentive to keep a patient out of a tanning booth, in fact the opposite is true. More skin cancers mean more business. Contrarily the ITA and its members has tremendous incentive to do anything in its power, no matter the legal, moral or ethical considerations to keep people tanning, indeed it is their livelihood. In a recent lecture I wrote on skin cancers I scoured the available research for data to support that tanning booths increased skin Vitamin D production and more importantly, serum vitamin D levels. I could not find it. Depending on the wavelength emmitted, a tanning booth may have no effect at all on vitamin D production. Vitamin D health benefit claims are in flux and in may instances, based on anectode rather than sound data. Even if we assume that every health benefit suggested is true the data that using a tanning booth will achieve them does not exist. Tanning booth use increases skin cancer risk, including melanoma. That data exists in spades. I strongly support that the FTC demand the ITA cease and desist propogating false claims and nonexistent data and warn people that the very activity that they want people to pursue (tanning) has an extremely high likelihood of contributing to the development of skin cancer, and in fact, could lead to their deaths. Respectfully, Cindy Firkins Smith, MD Dermatologist, Affiliated Community Medical Centers. Adjunct Professor, Department of Dermatology, University of Minnesota