ASA News

Nebraska Tanning Salons File Lawsuit to End Unlawful Campaign of Misstatements and Disparagement

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Suit filed by seven small business owners operating 68% of tanning salons in the Omaha and Lincoln markets

Omaha, Nebraska (July 22, 2015) – Today, seven small business owners operating 30 tanning salons in the Omaha and Lincoln markets filed a lawsuit in state court against the Nebraska Cancer Coalition (NCC) and two of its officers. The action states that the plaintiffs have been harmed as a result of false, misleading and defamatory statements made by the NCC about their businesses and the indoor tanning industry.

“Small businesses in Nebraska are suffering, and consumers are being misled, as a result of the misinformation being put out by the NCC,” said Bart Bonn, president of plaintiff Ashley Lynn’s, Inc., the Palm Beach Tan franchisee in Nebraska. “We advocate moderate and sensible UV exposure for Nebraska citizens who choose to tan, and pride ourselves in operating our businesses within both FDA guidelines and the law. It is both unfair and unlawful for the NCC to attack our businesses with a campaign full of deception and untruths.”

The complaint alleges that through an orchestrated campaign known as “The Bed is Dead,” the NCC committed defamation and violated the Nebraska Deceptive Trade Practices Act. The filing highlights the fact that the American Suntanning Association (ASA), an industry trade group in which the plaintiffs are members, contacted NCC on multiple occasions over an 11-month period, documenting the inaccuracies and misleading elements of its campaign and asking the NCC to make corrections.

“It is unfortunate that Nebraska tanning salon owners must seek relief in the legal system to preserve the right to operate our businesses free from misinformation and attacks,” said Curt Bowen, president of plaintiff JB & Associates, Inc., the Sun Tan City franchisee in Nebraska. “But in this case, our very livelihoods are on the line.”

The suit asks that the defendants correct their misstatements to the public and refrain from engaging in further deceptive trade practices and defamatory statements. The full lawsuit, including detailed scientific information supporting the plaintiffs’ claims, is available at


Plaintiffs’ efforts are being supported by the American Suntanning Association (ASA), a Section 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization representing nearly 1,000 tanning salons throughout the United States. For more information, visit


Bill To Repeal Tan Tax Is Critical First Step In Protecting America’s Small Businesses

Thursday, June 11, 2015

WASHINGTON, June 11, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The American Suntanning Association (ASA) applauded the introduction Tuesday of a bill by Rep. George Holding (NC-13) to repeal the 10 percent federal excise tax on indoor tanning services enacted in 2010.  HR 2698, “The Tanning Tax Repeal Act of 2015,” is currently co-sponsored by 14 Republicans and two Democrats.

“Representative Holding has shown his commitment to America’s small businesses by introducing this bill,” said ASA President Bart Bonn. “The tan tax is an example of a misguided policy, implemented with little forethought, which has crippled an industry and cost tens of thousands of jobs in communities across America.”

More than 9,000 salons – roughly half of all tanning salons in the U.S. – have closed since the tax was imposed in 2010 and resulted in the elimination of 76,000 jobs, in an industry heavily dominated by female business owners and employees. At the same time, the tax has generated less than 1/3 of the revenue projected by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) when the tax was implemented.

“We look forward to the speedy advancement of this legislation and the respite it will bring to small business owners throughout the country,” added Bonn.

The American Suntanning Association is a Section 501(c)(6) nonprofit organization. For more information, visit

‘Tan Tax’ Repeal Bill Introduced with Bipartisan Support

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Championed by the American Suntanning Association (ASA) and bolstered by new bipartisan efforts in Congress, U.S. Rep. George Holding (R-NC) on Tuesday introduced “The Tanning Tax Repeal Act of 2015” – legislation to repeal the 10 percent federal excise tax on indoor tanning services enacted in 2010.

HR 2698 is currently co-sponsored by 12 Republicans and two Democrats, and ASA continues to seek support from additional members of Congress. The bill has been referred to the U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means for action.

This bill is the culmination of more than two years of ASA dedication to the effort, led by ASA President Bart Bonn, who has spent two weeks or more per month working in Washington, D.C. since the end of 2013. Bonn and ASA Director of Legislative Affairs Whitney Tyler have attended several hundred meetings in the Capitol over that period, working to develop the bill and gather the support necessary to reach this point. They have gained bipartisan backing of the repeal effort by educating representatives on the devastating financial impact of the tax, its failure to generate projected revenue and the unfair manner in which it’s being levied.

Regardless of their political affiliations, members of Congress care about job creation and do not want to see people in their districts out of work. And, with more than five years having passed since the tax was implemented, there is no longer any question about its economic consequences.

The ASA is dedicated to supporting and defending the indoor tanning industry on all fronts. In addition to guiding this bill from its inception, the ASA represents the industry every day on issues involving the FDA, CDC, and state regulation, and engages in proactive efforts to promote the industry.

The ASA will continue to support the bill as it passes through the legislative process and keep you informed on its progress.

Researchers Call For Balanced Message About Sun

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Some of the world’s leading vitamin D researchers are now coming out publicly to support a balanced message about sun exposure, calling for public health groups and the media to realize that vitamin D deficiency in the world today is without a doubt caused by overzealous sun avoidance.

Their message: Dial it back a notch. Sunlight makes vitamin D and other substances in the skin that the body needs.

The video was released by Grassroots Health, a public health advocacy group based in  San Diego, following a vitamin D-sunlight conference held at the University of California-San Diego where researchers unanimously supported a more-balanced look at sunshine.

It contains some of the most frank and direct statements supporting balance perhaps ever made in a public presentation.

“The most natural way to make vitamin D is to expose our skin to the sun, particularly around mid-day,” Creighton University Vitamin D pioneer Dr. Robert Heaney said on the video. Heaney is widely regarded as one of the world’s foremost vitamin D experts. He cited over-use of sunscreen as a public health mistake.

“I think its important to understand that although sunscreen can be a very helpful thing for us, the sunscreen manufacturers have a vested interest in scaring us to death so that we’ll use more of their product. That I think needs to be resisted. I think that’s a mistake. If you have a chance to be outdoors, I think you should be outdoors when you can.” Heaney said.

Dr. Michael Holick — a world-renowned vitamin D expert from Boston University who has published several hundred papers on vitamin D and co-authored a study showing that sunbed users have 90 percent higher vitamin D levels as compared to non-users, encourages “sensible sun exposure” not just for vitamin D, but for a host of other natural by-products produced in the skin when it is exposed to UV light. Holick defines “sensible” as never sunburning and wearing sunscreen after you’ve gotten adequate sun.

“There are probably a lot of other biologic processes that are going on in your skin when you are exposed to sunlight that need to be really-investigated,” Holick said. “One of them potentially is that not only when you’re exposed to sunlight do you make vitamin D in your skin but you make at least 5-6 additional vitamin D-like photoproducts that we think have unique properties in the skin that may actually help reduce the risk of skin cancer and may have improvement in overall skin health.”

Sunbeds as a source of UV-induced vitamin D were also supported in the video. “Sunbeds of course can be used to make vitmain D. It’s been one of the ways that we’ve measured the amount of vitamin D that skin has the capacity to make. So what we claim about sunshine and how it makes is actually suntan parlor results,” Dr. Reinhold Veith, a world-leading vitamin D reseracher from the University of Toronto, said on the video.

Dr. Cedric Garland, a vitamin D pioneer from the University of California-San Diego, congratulated Australians for coming around to embrace sensible non-burning sun exposure. “Australia is now promoting a D-Break in winter, and I think it’s a great idea,” Garland said.

Click here to view The GrassrootsHealth press release and the on-line videos

Independent PSAs

Friday, September 26, 2014

We’re not the only ones promoting a balanced approach toward UV light. Numerous independent health advocates and groups are passionate about educating the public on the benefits of moderate UV light from the sun or sunbeds.

Here are some PSAs created by these advocates to educate on the importance of UV exposure:

Dr. Mercola – Sun Exposure

Download Dr. Mercola – Sun Exposure

Right click and choose “Save as”

Dr. Cannell – 30 Seconds

Download Dr. Cannell – 30 Seconds

Right click and choose “Save as”

Dr. Cannell – 60 Seconds

Download Dr. Cannell – 60 Seconds

Right click and choose “Save as”


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