Obama Wants to Tax Your Tan

Juliet Farmer

Tanning BedJust in case you needed more incentive to quit using tanning beds (besides skin cancer -- HELLO!), you're about to pay more.

Like many other women, I feel like I look better tan -- healthier, skinnier, prettier. And like many women my age who celebrated their 20s in the early-mid '90s, I spent a good amount of time (and money) at the tanning salon. As a breast cancer survivor, I cringe just thinking about it, but I did.

Back then, I was likely addicted to tanning beds, much like the Jersey Shore reality stars, as I used to hit the tanning bed a few times a week slathered in some sort of tan "accelerator." These days, I slather on the sunscreen daily and, while I do swim outside and thus get color, I feel better knowing I'm not blatantly courting skin cancer.

The Obama administration is trying to discourage the use of tanning beds via the new $940 billion health care overhaul, which is being paid for in part by a 10 percent tax on individuals receiving indoor tanning services that's expected to generate $2.7 billion over 10 years.

The new tanning tax will go into effect July 1 and will only apply to electronic products designed for tanning, NOT sunless tanning options such as spray tans and tanning lotions.

The American Academy of Dermatology supports the tanning tax because of the significant health risks associated with indoor tanning. According to the Academy, indoor tanning before the age of 35 is linked to a 75 percent increase in the risk of melanoma (did you just hear my heart drop?), the deadliest form of skin cancer, which has also become more common in young females. Meanwhile, nearly 30 million Americans hit the tanning beds each year and about 2.3 million of these people are teenagers.

If you frequent tanning beds (does anyone anymore? I mean, besides the kids from Jersey Shore?), be prepared to pay more. But if you're just looking for a golden glow, try a sunless tanner and be sure to apply sunscreen daily.

Will the new tanning bed tax affect you?


Image via Evil Erin/Flickr


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