Fabutan enforces teen tanning policy

    Under-18 rules respect Canadian parents' wishes

    CALGARY, March 19 /CNW/ - Fabutan Sun Tan Studios today announced it will
be strictly enforcing its teen tanning policy. This means anyone less than 16
years of age must be accompanied by a parent when indoor tanning, while 16 to
17-year-old customers will require a parent's signature of consent before
being allowed to tan.
    Fabutan's Teen Tan Plan program now mandates that franchisees ensure the
teen tanning policy restrictions are upheld, or they may face termination of
their franchise agreements.
    Fabutan has had self-imposed parental consent guidelines, including
parental accompaniment for anyone under the age of 16 and a signature for
anyone under the age of 18, since 1992. Health Canada has no regulations for
teen tanning.
    "This is now an official policy within our franchise operating system.
Fabutan has always believed that decisions regarding teen tanning should be
left to the teen's parents," said Fabutan President Doug McNabb. "Our research
tells us that a significant majority of Canadians believe this as well," he
    "Although we strongly disagree with the distorted perception about
ultraviolet light (UV) exposure we think it's important to respect the wishes
of Canadian parents. Our goal is to educate parents with facts, rather than
conjecture. Research shows the potential risks from tanning are from
overexposure or sunburning, not moderate tanning" McNabb said.
    In fact, a major consequence of the UV abstinence messaging by
dermatologists is the resulting vitamin D deficiency. In sunlight-starved
Canada, 97 per cent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient at some point in the
year, according to research by the University of Calgary. Because 90 per cent
of vitamin D is produced naturally when skin is exposed to UVB, present in
Fabutan's tanning beds, as well as sunshine, there is growing consensus in the
scientific community that humans can't get adequate levels of vitamin D from
diet or supplements.
    "We believe a tanning bed is the most reliable, effective, and controlled
source of vitamin D available. We're proud of our involvement at the
grassroots level teaching Canadians how to get their vitamin D and enjoy their
sun exposure responsibly," McNabb said.
    Fabutan's Screen Patrol - an active promoter of smart tanning for the
past four years - will participate in more than 225 events this year handing
out free sunscreen that will educate teenagers about the importance of
avoiding sunburns.

    About Fabutan Sun Studios

    For over 25 years Fabutan has encouraged a balanced, moderate approach to
indoor tanning. Educating our customers to maximize the benefits while
minimizing the risks of too much or too little UV exposure, along with a
strong emphasis on avoiding overexposure and sunburn, is the core foundation
of Fabutan's "Smart Tanning" philosophy.
    Fabutan (fabutan.com) is a founding member of the Joint Canadian Tanning
Association (tancanada.org), committed to the research and education of
responsible and moderate sun tanning. Fabutan is Canada's largest indoor
tanning company, with 159 franchises and over 700 employees.

For further information:

For further information: Carolyn Hackenberg, Fabutan Sun Tan Studios,
(403) 640-2100, hackenberg@fabutan.com; or Marina Grassi, Punch
Communications, (416) 360-6522 ext. 245, mgrassi@punch.to

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