New Tan Tax in Effect July 1

10% tax on individuals receiving indoor tanning services was added to the new US Healthcare Bill and it is expected to generate $2.7 billion in revenue over the next ten years to help fund the $940 billion overhaul.   Taxpayers are likely to feel the pinch one way or another, as new revenue needs skyrocket.  I discussed this on KMSP-TV.

According to CNN’s Money, the average tanning customer spends about $15 to $20 per visit.  But for those customers hooked on the look of being tan, I seriously doubt that they will forgo the indoor tanning practice.     Maybe a more effective deterrent might be an educational campaign emphasizing the risks associated with tanning.

According to the American Academy of Dermatology, indoor tanning before the age of 35 is linked to a 75% increase in the risk of melanoma.   It is the deadliest form of skin cancer.  It is only a guess as to whether teenagers will change their attitudes toward tanning and alter their behavior just because of this new tax.

Research has proven that exposure to UV radiation, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds, can cause serious health concerns.  Educating teens on the risks and dangers might prove to be a more useful tool.   These concerns include:

Skin burns- frequent burns may lead to skin cancer; significant burns may lead to scarring.

Premature skin aging- wear your sunscreen everyday

Eye damage (short and long-term)- wear good sunglasses, a visor or hat during outdoor activity.

Skin cancer, including melanoma, again I recommend wearing sunscreen and to minimize sun exposure especially during mid-day when the suns rays are most direct.

The US currently spends about $1.8 billion on treating skin cancers each year and $300 million on melanoma alone.   This new tax might reduce the future costs of treating skin cancers, if perhaps indoor tanning usage actually declines. I would like to see the socially accepted notion of sporting a tan eventually dispelled as a sign of being healthy and beautiful.  In the meantime, certainly self-tanning lotions and potions might offer the best alternative for that bronzy summertime glow.

Next:  What to do with skin already damaged by too much sun?


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