Performance Improvement 2009. Do Warning Statements on Indoor Tanning Devices Help Consumers?


This study evaluated the effectiveness of warning labels on indoor tanning equipment. The Food and Drug Administration Amendments Act of 2007 requires FDA to conduct consumer testing of labeling information for indoor tanning devices. Forty-eight respondents participated in six consumer focus groups. Changes to the warning label for tanning devices were in progress prior to the request for FDA to conduct this consumer testing, and this testing promoted appropriate changes.

A majority of participants reacted more positively to the alternative warning statement label than the current one because they found it easier to understand. Study participants indicated they found the alternative message to be streamlined, and not as ambiguous as the current label. Most participants said they would be more likely to read the alternative label because the shorter length and bulleted format made it easier to focus on the risks and directives. Participants found the alternative label easier to understand because of its clarity and simplicity, streamlined format, and messaging which made it more attention-grabbing and easier to process. Participants said the alternative statement sent a stronger message about the dangers associated with indoor tanning equipment. The study found the format of the current label to be its greatest weakness. Participants recommended the warning statement label be placed away from other labels on the tanning bed, so as not to detract from the label's importance.

Report Title: Findings from Six Consumer Focus Groups on Indoor Tanning Equipment Warning Statement Label; Report may be obtained from Federal Contact
Agency Sponsor: FDA, Food and Drug Administration
Federal Contact: Judith Arndt, 240-276-3234
Performer: House Market Research/Edge Research
PIC ID: 8954

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"PerformanceImprovement2009.pdf" (pdf, 1.26Mb)

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