Smoking, drinking, gambling, tanning? Today marks the first day that tanning salon operators will be charged a 10% tax for every dollar made from tanning beds. Part of the new healthcare bill, the tanning tax is considered to be “sin tax”, similar to the extra taxes on things like cigarettes and alcoholic beverages. By taxing something like tanning, Congress hopes to both discourage this “unhealthy” behavior and raise revenue. It is expected raise about $2.7 billion to help fund the new healthcare reform. Originally, the new tax was supposed to be focused on cosmetic surgeries, such as facelifts and implants. Nicknamed the “Botax”, dermatologists and plastic surgeons lobbied hard in Washington to block the bill. Many people are outraged that this bill was blocked and the tanning tax passed instead. Not only was the Botax bill projected to double the revenue of the tanning tax, it would also be more likely to affect wealthier Americans who could better afford to pay the increased prices. Middle class consumers are not the only ones hurt by this legislation, though. Small business owners are also panicking about what this will do to their bottom line. One study predicted that there were about 9,000 jobs that could be lost and 1,000 salons in danger of shutting down. So is this tax really worth it? Or is Congress just trying to find another way to rip off the American people? Most people are pretty familiar with the dangers of tanning and UV rays. For example, tanning before the age of 35 causes a 75% increase in melanoma, which leads to skin cancer. However, facts such as these have been coming out for several years now, and people still continue tanning. If it’s really important to their self-image, they will keep on coming back until they literally can’t afford it. This tax though, may make tanners think twice before stepping into that bed. If prices do skyrocket, they may not have another choice.