The Indoor Tanning Association has initiated a media campaign that claims sun and tanning beds have been "demonized' by special interests.
The group published a full-page print ad in The New York Times and bought time for a television ad in major media markets to highlight a study showing that exposure to ultraviolet light stimulates the production of vitamin D, which protects against heart disease and many types of cancer, the ITA said Thursday in a release.
"Both the sun and tanning beds have been unnecessarily demonized by special interests using junk science and scare tactics," ITA spokeswoman Sarah Longwell said. "While our campaign will be controversial, it's time people learned the truth about sun exposure."
Yale Medical School's David Leffell told ABC News he finds the ads misleading.
"The ad misrepresents scientific fact," he said. "Ultraviolet radiation from the sun and from the artificial bulbs that are used in the tanning parlors can lead to skin cancer."
Copyright 2008 by United Press International
Explore further: The Medical Minute: Melanoma - The dark side of the sun