Tammy Zinn at Relaxzinn Tan in Moose Jaw says she's happy to tell people tanning can be done safely — although the local cancer society takes issue with that.

A sign hangs outside her shop, telling readers about "smart tanning". 

Zinn says she prefers to call her salon's services "light therapy". 

"I look at it from a holistic point of view," she said. "We help people with skin conditions, psoriasis, fibromyalgia, pain control. We've treated people with claustrophobia, and it's been very successful."

Her motto, she says, is everything in moderation.

"I make sure that you follow guidelines, I start people out very slowly," says Zinn, who is also a registered nurse.

Zinn stands by the sign in her window that extols the value of a "smart tan".  She`s not surprised, though, that people find it controversial.

"I think they should read the whole sign though, not just the heading," she said.

However, Brett Estey of the Canadian Cancer Society in Saskatchewan advocates against the kind of posters found outside Zinn's shop, calling them misleading — particularly for teens. 

Smart tanning skpic

The Canadian Cancer Society says teenagers may be getting the wrong message from posters like these. (CBC)

"They look at these types of posters that say, 'I can get a base tan, it's perfectly safe, it's smart to tan, somehow.'
They get misled into thinking this is going to be safe for them to use," he said. 

The World Health Organization says tanning beds are a carcinogen, in line with cigarettes and asbestos.

Estey noted that three provinces have banned targeting tanning ads at minors, including New Brunswick, Ontario and Quebec. Seven Canadian provinces have banned indoor tanning altogether for minors.

Here, the province says it favours education over regulation when it comes to tanning.

Zinn says she's not surprised that people would find the poster in her window controversial. She says there are two sides to every story and people can choose how to take it.

"Someone's always going to be angry or upset about something. You still see cigarettes on the shelf, you still see them everywhere, and in every store. Even though there has been lung cancer and severe cancers with that," she said.