The Skin Cancer Foundation Response: Repeal of the Tanning Tax

The American Health Care Act, introduced in the House of Representatives on March 6, 2017, includes a provision to repeal the 10 percent tax on indoor tanning that was included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act.

New York, NY (March 9, 2017) – We are disappointed to learn of plans to repeal the 10 percent ‘tanning tax’ that was introduced with the 2010 Affordable Care Act. This tax marked a meaningful step forward in the fight against skin cancer, as we believe the increased cost discouraged UV tanning. Repealing this tax will make indoor tanning easier, thereby putting lives at risk.

The Foundation strongly supports measures that discourage people from engaging in dangerous and potentially deadly indoor tanning practices. The ultraviolet radiation emitted by tanning devices is a proven human carcinogen. In fact, people who first use a tanning bed before age 35 increase their risk for melanoma, the most dangerous form of skin cancer, by an alarming 75 percent.1 

There’s strong evidence to support the correlation between indoor tanning and cancer:

  • Each year in the U.S., more than 419,000 cases of skin cancer are linked to indoor tanning, including roughly 6,200 melanomas, 245,000 basal cell carcinomas and 168,000 squamous cell carcinomas.2
  • Those who have ever tanned indoors have a 67 percent increased risk of developing squamous cell carcinoma and a 29 percent increased risk of developing basal cell carcinoma,3 the two most common forms of skin cancer.

The Skin Cancer Foundation strongly urges Congress to maintain this tax, which discourages people from engaging in deadly tanning behaviors, and ultimately saves lives.

# # #

Carla Barry-Austin ( 212-725-5641
Becky Kamowitz ( 212-725-5177

About The Skin Cancer Foundation
The Skin Cancer Foundation is the only global organization solely devoted to the prevention, early detection and treatment of skin cancer. The mission of the Foundation is to decrease the incidence of skin cancer through public and professional education and research. Since its inception in 1979, the Foundation has recommended following a complete sun protection regimen that includes seeking shade and covering up with clothing, including a wide-brimmed hat and UV-blocking sunglasses, in addition to daily sunscreen use. For more information, visit

1 The International Agency for Research on Cancer Working Group. The association of use of sunbeds with cutaneous malignant melanoma and other skin cancers: A systematic review. Int J Canc 2006; 120:1116-1122.

2 Wehner M, Chren M-m, Nameth D, et al. International prevalence of indoor tanning: a systematic review and meta-analysis. JAMA Dermatol 2014; 150(4):390-400. doi: 10,1001/jamadermatol.2013.6896

3 Ferrucci LM, Cartmel B, Molinaro AM, Leffell DJ, Bale AE, Mayne ST. Indoor tanning and risk of early-onset basal cell carcinoma. J Amer Acad Dermatol 2011; 67(4):552-62. doi: 10.1016/j.jaad.2011.11.940. Epub 2011 Dec 9.