The American Suntanning Association is staying ahead of attempts to over-regulate professional indoor tanning facilities at the state and federal level in 2023.
Efforts to keep under-21-year-old people from using sunbeds in professional salons have been introduced in New York State, with anti-sun groups in California looking at the same. An under-18 bill in Ohio has been reintroduced once again as well, while other states continue to look at finding ways to restrict access to professional tanning facilities.
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 11 state legislative issues raised in 2022, the ASA came out on the winning side 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. ASA is 25-0 in state capital issues in the past two years.
“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.”
Joseph Levy, ASA
Many of these issues involved proposed under-18 or even under-21 age restrictions for usage of a professional sunbed facility. In many cases, ASA convinced would-be bill sponsors not to even introduce bills after seeing the science that does not support that approach. Some of our victories involved tax bills and other issues.
In Washington D.C., ASA has continued to show federal regulators and legislators how today’s sunlamp retailers are solution-oriented and how sunburn prevention – not sun avoidance – is the key to future sun care policies. 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 2013, ASA has convinced state legislatures 144 times that our positions make sense – continuing to win when we have the opportunity to lay out the unintended consequences of anti-salon legislation.
ASA Executive Director & Director of Scientific Affairs, Joseph Levy, worked with ASA counsel in New York to successfully prevent those bills from moving in 2021-22.
“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, and may actually unintentionally harm effective sun-care efforts.”
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. “The latest government data shows that 19 out of 20 sunburns today occur in situations when an individual was not even attempting to suntan,” Levy said. “The data supporting our positions continues to grow stronger. 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.
“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.”
To join ASA today, 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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