Burning Issues in New York's Tanning Bed Industry

State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman continues to turn up the heat on New York businesses in the indoor tanning industry. The State's A.G. is not alone.

According to Corporate Counsel, indoor tanning is under attack from all sides. The Federal Trade Commission is going after manufacturers. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration seeks to ban minors from using tanning salons altogether. Individuals are suing tanning salons with such frequency that some legal experts predict tobacco industry level litigation in the near future.  

Tanning industry lawyers deny that their clients are misleading consumers. Most claim that indoor tanning provides health benefits. When the tanning industry promotes these health benefits, industry lawyers argue that their clients are merely exercising their right to free speech.

Although it is too early to predict the final results of these regulatory proposals and court battles, it is clear that the controversy surrounding indoor tanning will not fade anytime soon. In the meantime, individual tanning studio are well advised to avoid directly making any claims related to the potential benefits of indoor tanning. Rather, tanning studios should direct consumers to third-party resources such as TanningTruth.com or SmartTan.com. These sites contain links to favorable blogs regarding tanning but contain warnings to consumers about the risks of overexposure to UV rays.

 

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Kevin Burke

Kevin Burke is a partner in the Litigation, Labor & Employment Practice Group at Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP. EDUCATION: J.D., George Washington University Law School Georgetown University - B.A., magna cum laude Nichols High School School (Buffalo, New York) EMPLOYMENT: Lippes Mathias Wexler Friedman LLP - A partner in the Litigation Practice Group INTERESTS: Member, Nichols School Alumni Board Past Board Member and Officer, Western New York Trial Lawyers Association Bennett High School's Law Magnet Program Bar Association of Erie County Annual Mock Trial Tournament Attorney Coach Past Member, Kiwanis Club of Buffalo Past Member, Child & Family Services Annual Fund Board Leadership Buffalo Graduate, Class of 2006