Schneiderman settles with Hollywood Tans over health claims

By Bryan Cohen | Mar 31, 2014

NEW YORK (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced agreements on Thursday with a national tanning salon chain and its Manhattan-based franchise to resolve allegations they made health-related representations to promote tanning services.

HT Franchising Management LLC, doing business as Hollywood Tans, and Hollywood Tans NYC, a Manhattan-based franchise of Hollywood Tans, allegedly made numerous and false representations about the health and safety benefits associated with ultraviolet tanning. The salons allegedly promoted the benefits of increased vitamin D production and cancer prevention.

While vitamin D production is often promoted as a benefit of UV tanning, research shows that indoor tanning is not a reliable or advisable source of vitamin D.

"There is a clear consensus in the medical and scientific communities on the harms associated with indoor or UV tanning - including significant increases in the likelihood of skin cancer - and especially for young people," Schneiderman said. "It is important that consumers know the risks of indoor tanning, and that the science isn't distorted by any advertising or marketing that uses false, misleading, or unsubstantiated health-related representations to confuse consumers."

Under the terms of the settlements, all Hollywood Tans franchises in New York are prohibited from making health claims, from targeting high school students and from offering unlimited tanning packages.

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