As someone lucky enough to have survived melanoma (thanks to a quick-thinking family doc and a derm surgeon willing to take on an emergency procedure), I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or cry when I read that talk radio kooks were calling the tanning-salon tax an attack against white people.  As in black president has it in for whites, etc.  Rush Limbaugh et al urge the public to rise up and demand the repeal of this heinous levy.  

See: Is the Tan Tax Racist?

Building on the successful anti-smoking model that includes the federal cigarette tax, legislators included a 10 percent sales tax on the use of tanning beds, as part of the health-care reform package. They hoped it would discourage people – especially young people – from using the machines, since studies consistently show that practice raises a person's risk of developing melanoma, one of the deadliest and fastest moving cancers you can get.  

Listen up, talk show hosts and ltheir fans: Melanoma knows no race, and does not care about your politics. About 70,000 blacks, whites and people in between, as well as Obama lovers and haters will be diagnosed with this deadly disease this year in the US. Many will be those who frequent cancer farms -- excuse me -- tanning salons. Others will get their deadly rays the old-fashioned way.

So far, the studies are clear: If you insist on exposing your skin to too much UV (artificial or natural), you increase the likelihood of developing melanoma. Period. How much is too much? Who knows.

One thing is certain: If the tumor is not caught early (like mine was), you won’t have long to worry about the tan tax or others.  




07/08/2010 21:40

Amen! Skin cancer is the most prevalent cancer in America, and the most preventable. It's STUPID to encourage risk.


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