Tax This

You probably heard something about this recently:

Some people’s indoor tanning habits qualify as an addiction similar to being hooked on alcohol or other addictive substances, a new study suggests.  The results show that about one-third of college students who frequent indoor tanning facilities could be considered addicted based on criteria used to diagnose substance abuse addiction. And these tan-o-holics also reported a greater use of alcohol and marijuana, and had more symptoms of anxiety than those who weren’t considered hooked.

The findings back up previous indications that sunbathing, both artificial and the real thing, can be habit-forming. A small 2006 study found that those who persistently visit tanning beds can experience withdrawal symptoms if they don’t get their UV-high. And a 2008 study revealed that about 18 percent of outdoor tanners qualified as addicted…. The results of the current work, which is based on a larger sample and possibly more robust research methods, also suggest that reducing the risky behavior might take more than just public awareness campaigns. For some, it might require interventions more along the lines of what’s used as treatment for substance abusers.  – Fox News

Hardly news in these parts.  I certainly qualify, although so far I’ve resisted joining up with any Tanorexics Anonymous groups, even though the very beautiful and persuasive Tanya Hyde, who chairs the Haulover Beach chapter, encourages me regularly.

Anyway, this finding puts into perspective this little piece of unsettling news:

South Florida tanning salons, already struggling with a recession that has slashed spending on nonessentials such as bronzed bodies, will likely face even harder times when a new tanning tax goes into effect this summer…. Those looking to hit the beach with a ready-made tan will be subject to a 10 percent tax for a pit stop at the tanning booth after July 1. The new tax is part of the federal healthcare overhaul.  The government says the indoor tanning industry is peddling a known cancer risk, and a tax on the service will raise money to help expand health coverage to uninsured Americans. –Miami Hurled

So your Federal government, always out to save your sorry ass from anything that makes you feel good like alcohol, tobacco, gambling, sugared soft drinks, and walking around with loaded automatic weapons, now has an Official Medically Sanctioned Study to bolster its tax-happy habit.  Talk about addictions – is there anything more habit forming among Congressman than finding shit to slap a tax on?

“The only reason they’re doing this is they can’t tax the sun,” fumed one tanning bed salon owner.  “Why don’t they make marijuana legal and tax it like tobacco, and leave the rest of us alone?  That would raise more money than everything else combined.”

Even when I lived up north in troglodytic misery, I never patronized a tanning salon.  It’s not the same thing at all.  It doesn’t have the same intensity, the sizzle on the skin, the weight of the sun pressing down, the hot-poker penetration through the skin into the bones, muscles, and organs that a sunny July day on the beach provides.  But I get the point.

The more interesting story the nature of addiction itself.  Of course tanning is addictive – so is Bingo, golf, sex, driving at high speeds, eating, working, and blogging.  Addiction isn’t about the activity to which one is addicted, it’s about the addict.  Everything you could ever want to know about addiction is in Infinite Jest.  I read it twice, once (mostly) on the beach.   Maybe I’m addicted.

This tax will do what tax on tobacco does: marginally reduce the number of consumers, put some people out of business, and give the government more money to spend.  It’s the American Effing Way.

Meanwhile, I’ll be on the beach.  Tax free.  So far.

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7 Responses to Tax This

  1. Yono Senada says:

    Why didn’t you say HELLO? Next time, I’ll let you take a picture of my mug … Let me know when you’re headed back to Hollywood Bitch.

  2. Tony Montana says:

    “Talk about addictions – is there anything more habit forming among Congressman than finding shit to slap a tax on?”

    Oye meng, thas so truu!!!

  3. Tanya Hyde says:

    You’re so sweet — and we’re here when you’re ready. By “here,” naturally, I mean the beach……..and by “naturally,” I mean the sun, not some tanning bed. The tax doesn’t go far enough: they should be illegal. If you’re going to indulge an addiction, do it properly, out in nature (and ideally, naked)!

  4. Hose B says:

    This is standard operating procedure for Congress. Declare something a sin, then slap on a sin tax. The irony becomes that the nation’s revenue now depends on buying something considered unhealthy (or sinful). So the more people smoke, the more revenue the government enjoys.

  5. knock knock
    who’s there
    Orange who?
    Orange you glad I’m not your Congressman

    God I love that joke cause I’m orange. As the newspaper reporter once said , “Congressman, I’m Brown from The Sun. and I answered,” Really , I’m John Boehner from Ohio.

  6. Travis T says:

    You have the wrong outlook here. Try this: Tanning beds, a remarkably more cost-efficient delivery system for skin cancer than natural sunshine, are taxed as luxury items. The time you save (15 mins in a bed vs 1 hour under the sun) is found money, so Uncle Sam takes a piece.

    Does that help?

  7. Lu Senz says:

    You and your Ra-heads ought to form a team and try to encourage a Tanning Competition league. Winners would be determined not by color per se, but change in pigment. I bet any number of tanning clinics and dermatologists would line up as sponsors. Then you’d get your life’s dream: to become a preofessional tanner. Assuming you survive.

    Did you notice? My Cubs suck again. Just what we expect.

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