Tan Tax – Will it Reduce Skin Cancer?

Tan Tax – Will it Reduce Skin Cancer?

The Tan Tax scheduled to go into 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.

Are jobs on the line?
According to CNN’s Money, the average tanning customer spends about $15 to $20 per visit. So an extra 10% on top of the current price might provide a deterrent to customers, potentially putting jobs on the line. 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.

Cutting out the “Botax”
The 10% tanning tax has replaced the 5% tax on all cosmetic surgery that was in the bill initially. The “Botax,” would have included Botox injections, breast implants and other elective surgeries. It was removed from the bill last year after heavy lobbying from the medical and dermatology industries. Tanning salons have apparently not been as well funded or organized to fight the new tax levied against their industry.

Silver lining: Will the Tan Tax reduce usage and cut healthcare costs? 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. Melanoma has become more common in young females. There are over 2 million teenagers today that are indoor tanners, creating a greater risk for themselves. However, it is only a guess as to whether teenagers will change their attitudes toward tanning and alter their behavior. Educating teens on the risks and dangers might prove to be a more useful tool. Research has proven that exposure to UV radiation, whether from the sun or indoor tanning beds, can cause serious health concerns. 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.

Tan Tax – Will it Reduce Skin Cancer?

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