Many people have recently been asking me about the 10% tax increase for indoor tanning bed salons. I actually appreciate this tax as I am not a supporter of such a dangerous service. There is now strong evidence that ultraviolet light exposure, such as that received from tanning beds, promotes skin cancer and ages the skin.
More than one million people visit tanning bed salons on an average day. Nearly 70 percent of these people are between the ages of 16 and 29. Because tanning equipment emits UVA and UVB radiation, known carcinogens, these individuals are exposing themselves to an increased risk of melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer. Moreover, several studies now show that there is a 75 percent increased risk of melanoma skin cancer in those exposed to UV radiation from indoor tanning before the age of 35.
In addition to the increased risk of skin cancer, the ultraviolet light received from tanning beds damages DNA in our cellular structure. Such damage promotes premature aging of the skin, eye problems such as cataracts and glaucoma, and immune suppression. Many individuals who used tanning beds in their younger years now seek cosmetic services from me, such as botox, restylane, and IPL, to correct the damage caused by tanning.
I am hopeful that the new tax on tanning beds helps to raise awareness about the harmful effects of tanning bed salons and discourages people from participating in this activity. But if you are going for that leathery, skin cancer look then I hope the 10% increase won’t put too much of a dent in your wallet or purse.