Proposed Consent Agreement In the Matter of the Indoor Tanning Association, FTC File No. 082 3159
Melanoma is one of the fastest growing cancers in the U.S. as well as the leading cause of cancer deaths in women ages 25-29. The World Health Organization has declared the UV light used in tanning beds to be just as carcinogenic as asbestos and cigarettes. Exposure to UV radiation, especially at a young age, is a well-known cause of melanoma. As a 20 year-old melanoma patient, I am painfully aware of the serious consequences of tanning. As a teen I used tanning beds, naïve to the huge amount of harm of UV exposure causes one's skin, like many of my friends. If young women are hearing the facts, they aren't listening, the mantra "it won't happen to me" lives on-and because of this, young people are getting cancer (and dying). UV exposure should be handled the way handle cigarettes-- illegal to sell to minors. Instead, the federal health care bill has proposed a 10% tax on indoor tanning services. If the bill passes, tanning won't be made illegal for minors because the U.S. government is unlikely to halt a new revenue stream it has created. Let's get real-- a 10% tax won't stop minors from tanning. This tax is only going to benefit the government.