Tanning Tax Tacks It On

by Brittany Shannon on June 16, 2010 at 5:37 am

A tanning tax is set to be in place starting in July, but the question is, will it prevent people from exposing themselves to harmful UV rays.

You can still get that bronze glow, but now it’s going to cost you more, and health officials are saying it’s a good thing since skin cancer has risen significantly in the past 50 years.

"My goal would be for it to reduce tanning, particularly for those under the age of 35. The effect of the rays from the tanning beds is definitely increasing our skin cancer rates," says Dr. Vicki Whitacre, Medical Director of Muskingum County Health Department.

Starting in July, a tax of ten percent will be tacked on when you hit the tanning salon in hopes that it will make people think twice.

"Hopefully people will take this to heart as a warning and will quit tanning and will limit their sun exposure appropriately," says Dr. Whitacre.

While frequent tanners aren’t happy with the tax, local establishments say it won’t stop people from walking through the doors. Renae Elliott works at Sunspot and doesn’t see the tax causing the business any problems.

"We’ve talked to a lot of people about it who’ve come in, and they’re kind of upset about it a little bit but i don’t think it’s going to effect as far as people coming in and tanning, i don’t think it will affect it too much," says Elliott.

So the question is, will the tax be successful in limiting the number of those who are harming their skin by basking under UV bulbs.

"I really don’t think much of it, it probably wouldn’t keep me from going tanning," says Sydney Lapp, who tans at Sunspot.

Since 1950, the occurrence of melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, has increased 700%.