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Tanning Tax ?

At least 31 states currently regulate indoor tanning for minors, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Just last month, the country's first local ban on indoor tanning for those under the age of 18 was passed in Howard County, Md. And in July, the World Health Organization broadcasted one of its most damning warnings yet about tanning beds, declaring them "carcinogenic," and placed them in the same category as cigarettes and arsenic.

Over the years, such health warnings have gone heard but unheeded by many. But that may have been because, up until quite recently, tan seekers saw no worthy alternative to fake baking. Increasingly, they have another option on the table--or in the booth, that is. Spray-on tanning--when the face and body are misted with nontoxic colored chemicals--is the bright spot for the future of the tanning industry. Even though the service can cost more than three times as much as baking under bulbs, it's considered much safer and, thus, guilt-free. "Growing awareness about the high cancer risk associated with UV tanning beds will invariably diminish market share," George Van Horn, an IBISWorld senior analyst, said in a recent press release. He estimates that sunless tanning accounted for roughly 11 percent of tanning-salon revenues two years ago and may reach as high as 17 percent for 2009. And as technology improves for the spray tan (read: customers exit looking less orange), most industry insiders predict that it will continue to lure customers away from traditional tanning beds.

(See alse Sunscreen SPF.)

Should Your Fake Tan Be Taxed?
Congress thinks it can extract billions from indoor tanning, but it's using sunny math.
By Caitlin McDevitt
Posted Wednesday, December 30, 2009 - 10:40am


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