In a recent survey only a few of the participating businesses reported a drop in their clients. Although a federal excise tax in 2010 was meant to deter the customers from using indoor tanning salons. However, the businesses which took part in the survey said that it seemed that their customers did not care. This tax was imposed all over the country as a part of the health care overhaul. A 10% tax was modeled after taxes were imposed on tobacco products. Justification for this tax was provided by the fact that tanning can cause skin cancer. Researchers in Illinois surveyed the owners and employees of 308 tanning salons all over the state.
The survey was aimed at finding how the business of the salons had changed after the tax was imposed in July 2010. Majority of the participant businesses said that they have not experienced any difference. The research team was led by Dr. June Robinson from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago. The research team has found that the deterrent value of the tax would be undermined because the salon owners are allowed to pay the tax without passing it on to their clients. According to the report by the team of researchers about 80% charge clients the full tax amount. 7% of the salon owners were splitting it among the customers.
The team has written in the Archives of Dermatology, “This study found that the tax on indoor tanning was implemented as it was intended, with most clients paying the tax. Nearly 80 percent of the salons said clients oppose the tax, but the same proportion said clients don’t seem to care about the tax. Just 68 percent of salon owners or staff said they oppose the tax.” The U.S. Internal Revenue Service in October said that it was experiencing some trouble in implementing the new tax. It also reported that revenues did not reach anywhere near the projected $200 million in fiscal year 2011.
Dr. Steven Wang, a dermatologist and cancer specialist at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center Basking Ridge, in New Jersey, said, “People are beginning to appreciate this now, and they want to protect the minors.” According to Dr. Wang the greatest concern is that indoor tanning promotes skin cancer (both melanoma and non-melanoma). He also said, “In order for the body to produce a tan, the body has to sustain some sort of damage.”