The Dermatology Nurses Association (DNA) has joined nearly 100 state and national medical associations, including the American Academy of Dermatology Association and the American Medical Association, in signing a letter of opposition to U.S. Rep. Michael Grimm (R-NY), who is sponsoring legislation to repeal a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning services.
According to the American Academy of Dermatology Association, girls and women ages 16-29 comprise nearly 70 percent of tanning salon patrons. However, skin cancer diagnoses have been steadily increasing among both men and women. American Cancer Society statistics show one in five Americans will develop the disease in their lifetime.
"Studies show clear evidence that tanning bed use increases the risk of developing all forms of skin cancer, including melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer," says DNA President-Elect, Trudy Adamson, MSN, RN, DNC. "Repealing this tax would be a real disservice to young women - some of whom are literally dying to be tan."
Like the tobacco tax, the tanning tax appropriately reflects the carcinogenic effects of indoor tanning, the groups opposing the repeal of the tax say. As it currently stands, the indoor tanning tax "serves as the only policy at the federal level that acts as a deterrent to the harmful behavior and significant health risks of indoor tanning."
DNA has been actively involved in skin cancer prevention education and health policy reform for more than 5 years. The association's position on the hazards of indoor tanning was drafted and approved by the Board of Directors.
DNA also endorsed SunAWARE, an acronym designed to teach primary and secondary skin cancer prevention. SunAWARE education has been delivered throughout the U.S. by DNA members for several years through the Don't Fry Day campaign. DNA members have also lobbied state legislatures for tougher tanning laws for minors in MT, MA and MD. Additionally,
DNA's recently updated website, www.dnanurse.org, contains information on skin cancer including support group information and how-to videos on correctly applying sunscreen and giving a self-skin exam.
"The DNA stands with its partner organizations in the effort to stop the repeal of this tax," Adamson adds.