Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159
I started using indoor tanning beds at the age of 15. I would go a dozen or so times each spring to get a good "base tan" for the summer. This was just over 10 years ago and at the time I was never presented with any information regarding the risks of tanning leading to melanoma. I didn't even know young people were at any sort of risk for melanoma. I tanned nearly every year until the age of 24. I initially stopped tanning not because I was worried of the risk, I just didn't have the time or the money to spend on it. Then I was diagnosed with Stage I Melanoma at the age of 26. I have no family history of melanoma and it is very difficult to wonder if I would have gotten melanoma if I had never stepped foot into a tanning salon. I was so fortunate to catch it at Stage I, but many women aren't as lucky. Tanning salons need to be prevented from being glamorized and they need to educate their customers of the risk of tanning. They especially should not let anyone under the age of 18 into the salon. If tanning is going to be grouped in the same carcinogenic category as smoking, then the age limit should also be the same. These businesses need to get in trouble for allowing people under the age of 18 into the salon just as a convenience store would be in trouble for selling cigarettes to someone under the age of 18. They should also have to contribute money to the education and awareness of the tanning-melanoma link, just like the large tobacco companies did with lung cancer. The ITA needs to come clean and stop getting away with telling these lies.