Staying ahead of attempts to over-regulate professional indoor tanning facilities at the state level continues to be one of the American Suntanning Association’s top priorities in 2022.
And, more than ever, ASA’s promotion and defense of the market with policymakers is founded in constructive dialogue that positions tanning professionals as part of the solution in real-world sun care.
In all 14 state legislative issues raised in 2021, the American Suntanning Association came out on the winning side without a defeat, using science to convince legislators that our approach to sunburn prevention and parental consent for indoor tanners is the best way to address sun care issues.
“The best way to keep legislation from getting traction is to re-dedicate your tanning business to professional practices and to be worthy of the path that is being blazed for the tanning market of tomorrow.”
Joseph Levy, Director of Scientific Affairs
ASA prevailed in 2021 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 not to re-introduce under-18 age restriction proposals in 2021. ASA also tracked and joined coalitions to successfully argue against tax bills introduced in Arkansas and Texas that would have included tanning services.
Since 2013, ASA has blazed 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.
The latest challenge has been the advent of under-21 restriction proposals that have cropped up in New York and California. In California, ASA worked with counsel to keep an under-21 bill from finding an author, despite attempts by state dermatology groups to get it introduced.
In New York state, ASA and counsel continue to work to keep an under-21 bill from gaining traction. That bill, introduced in 2020, is still active through the end of 2022 in New York.
ASA Director of Scientific Affairs Joseph Levy worked with ASA counsel in New York to successfully prevent that bill from moving in 2021.
“This has our full attention,” Levy said. “We have committed resources to not only fight this, but to make sure leaders in the New York legislature fully understand why this bill would be a mistake. Proponents are trying to suggest that this issue is similar to tobacco. Eighteen states have raised the legal age for smoking to 21. But UV exposure – from the sun or from a sunbed – is not tobacco. It is qualitatively and quantitatively deceptive to make that comparison.”
The case for real-world sun-care solutions continues to grow stronger, as sunburn among non-tanners continues to be more and more prevalent, and research supporting regular non-burning UV exposure is becoming more and more accepted. Mounting research showing that COVID-19 cases were less prevalent and less severe in people who had regular UV exposure or higher vitamin D levels has bolstered new interest in a balanced approach to sun care.
“We have continued to put our case in a proper context and continue to demonstrate that professional indoor tanning facilities have a scientifically supported position,” Levy said. He has traveled to 43 different state capitols on behalf of ASA and ASA partners, leading ASA’s advocacy program.
“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 said. “And get involved with ASA. We need your support.”
Call 855.879.7678 to join ASA today, or visit AmericanSuntanning.org/register.
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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