The American Suntanning Association came out on the winning side in 14 state legislative issues in 2021 without a defeat, using science to convince legislators that our approach to sunburn prevention and parental consent for tanners is the best way to address sun care issues.
In spring 2021, ASA prevailed in legislative issues in Iowa, Mississippi, New York, New Jersey, Oregon, Ohio and South Carolina, all of which involved under-18 age restrictions (under-21 was introduced in New York state). Additionally, ASA convinced would-be legislative sponsors in Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida and Connecticut to not re-introduce under-18 age restriction proposals in 2021.
ASA also tracked and joined coalitions successfully arguing against tax bills introduced in Arkansas and Texas that would have included tanning services.
Fortunately, we aren’t starting from Ground Zero in this battle. Since 2013, ASA has promoted a common approach of putting the industry’s positions in constructive, scientifically supported terms. That positive approach has paid dividends. Since 2015, ASA has convinced state legislatures 109 times that our positions make sense – continuing to win when we have the opportunity to lay out the unintended consequences of anti-salon legislation.
“We can demonstrate that our position is solid scientifically,” said Levy, who has now traveled to 43 different state capitols on behalf of ASA and ASA partners.
Tanning professionals in New York state are encouraged to join ASA to help the association fund advocacy work in Albany. Tanning professionals in other states should join to help ASA keep this concept from gaining traction anywhere else.
“The best way to keep legislation from getting any traction is to re-dedicate your tanning business to professional practices, sunburn prevention and to be worthy of the path that is being blazed for the tanning market of tomorrow,” Levy stated. “And get involved with ASA. We need your support.”
Levy has worked hard to educate both sides of the aisle that professional sunbed facilities have a scientifically supported position. That’s become increasingly important, as sun care topics have become less partisan than the days of the 1990s, when it was simply a “more-or-less regulation” issue.
“For 29 years, I’ve been pretty consistent that effective sunburn prevention is the future of professional sunbed operations,” Levy said. “And there’s no doubt that’s the gas that puts fuel in our engine. Demonstrating that to both sides of the aisle is going to be more and more important as we enter the next decade.”
Founded in 2012, the American Suntanning Association is committed to defending and growing the industry through a detailed and proactive plan directed by an all-salon board and executed by more than two dozen management and consulting team members who specialize in this type of work.
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