Building a Future for Indoor Tanning

The new federal government administration has instilled great hope in our industry and opened the door for the degree of political change that the American Suntanning Association has been working toward for the last four years. Now is the time for our industry to stand united and maximize our opportunity to set our businesses up for long-term success.

The ASA’s efforts are making a real difference for the industry and for your business, but we can’t do it alone. There is no better time to get involved with the only organization positioned to build a future for your business.

The ASA has developed a multi-part campaign to stem the tide of unfair attacks against our industry. Our actions have included working on Capitol Hill to repeal the tan tax and keep it from resurfacing; initiating litigation against the Nebraska Cancer Coalition to stop the CDC-funded “Bed is Dead” campaign; and working with the CDC and FDA to better understand our scientifically supported position.

Today we are in the best position ever to stop the attacks and to change public perception of indoor tanning. Here is what the ASA is doing to continue to improve the future outlook for all of our businesses:

FEDERAL PLAN                                    

ASA has conducted hundreds of meetings in our nations capitol, educating legislators about our scientifically supported position.

  • The Tan Tax will be eliminated with the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, but ASA has to work to ensure that it doesn’t get added back into a replacement healthcare bill.
  • Meetings and communications with the CDC are designed to change the government’s position to a more balanced message about UV light and indoor tanning.
  • FDA Proposed Rules Response – 300+ page submission; one-on-one meetings; More than 10,000 industry submissions. ASA’s scientific rebuttals have impacted the FDA’s attempt to further regulate our market.


The tanning industry must be acutely aware of state and federal regulations governing the marketing or public discussion of indoor tanning. ASA has spent significant time and energy to ensure our communications are within the law as we seek to positively influence public perception of indoor tanning.

  • ASA communications efforts have helped reduce the negative media attention experienced by the industry in previous years.
  • Our efforts have been critical in educating members of Congress about the issues impacting our industry.
  • We are continuously developing and implementing new initiatives that will net considerable results for the industry in 2017 and beyond.


ASA is devoting considerable resources to stop the flow of false and misleading information about our industry and your business.

  • ASA’s legal efforts represent the strongest pushback in the history of our industry against anti-tanning forces.
  • We believe the latest UV-related science will prevail over anti-tanning rhetoric, and the right forum is in a court of law.

That’s why the ASA-backed litigation in Nebraska is so important. If successful, the suit will provide a precedent to be used against other anti-tanning groups to stop misstatements made about indoor tanning.


Our opponents are driving new under-18 bans already in 2017 as well as lobbying individual state departments for additional regulation of our industry. ASA is already traveling to states working with lobbyists and legislators alongside local salon groups and taking proactive measures to educate state regulators in the following areas:

  • The meaning and intent of recommended exposure schedules.
  • The industry’s best practices already in place.
  • Science demonstrates the sun abstinence message from the government is doing more harm than good to human health.


ASA’s scientific team has spent nearly seven years parsing every piece of UV-related research in existence, and collaborating with the world-leading pro-UV experts. As a result, our efforts have yielded:

  • Dozens of conversations with many of the world’s leading scientists regarding UV light, sunbeds and melanoma.
  • Many scientists taking action with research development, letters to Congress, and meetings with government agencies.
  • Proof that much of the anti-tanning research cited by the government and some within the medical industry is incorrect.


All of these activities are funded solely by the support of indoor tanning businesses like yours. We urge you to invest in protecting your business by becoming a member or making a contribution to the ASA. Please get involved to protect the future of our industry and your business by joining the ASA. Contact the ASA at or by calling: 855-879-7678.



Republican Healthcare Bill Would Repeal Tan Tax

The repeal of the Tan Tax is included in a draft of the House Republican bill that would replace the Affordable Care Act. This development was reported to the ASA by several sources earlier this week and confirmed today when the draft was released.

The new bill aims to repeal major provisions of the ACA, including the 10 percent excise tax on tanning services and most other tax provisions from the 2010 healthcare reform. The bill, designed by House Republicans, should be introduced after Congress’ break this week, according to House Speaker Paul Ryan.

Last year, a bill to reform the ACA that included the repeal of the Tan Tax was passed by Congress and would have become law had it been signed by President Obama. It is expected that President Trump will sign the new reform bill into law if it is passed by Congress.

Also, last week the new Tan Tax Repeal bill, H.R. 1150, was submitted by Representatives George Holding (R-NC) and Collin Peterson (D-MN) in the House. The ASA will continue to work with lawmakers to garner support for the Tan Tax repeal and update you on further developments.

Click here for more details on the new healthcare reform bill.

Barton Bonn: Industry Champion

Many years ago, Bart Bonn made the decision to get involved in securing the future of the indoor tanning industry and to protect his chain of tanning salons. Over the course of a decade, Bonn worked with other like-minded industry leaders to eventually organize the industry’s first tanning salon association – the American Suntanning Association. For four years, Bonn has been President and Executive Director for the ASA, leading the industry’s efforts in Washington and overseeing all aspects of the industry association.

Bonn was no stranger to politics, having previously worked on political campaigns in his home state of Nebraska. Building relationships with state and federal lawmakers were measures Bonn knew were necessary to protect his salon businesses.

In 2013, Bonn led a successful effort to get tanning salon services removed from the state of Nebraska’s state admissions tax. The lawsuit and political lobbying support to win that battle was very costly and time consuming, but Bonn is not a man to back down from a fight. “I’ve worked with Bart for many years and one thing I learned is that he doesn’t let anything get in his way when his mind is made up,” said Matt Russell, Smart Tan CEO and ASA’s new Executive Director. “If I am ever in a tough predicament, Bart is the first guy I would want standing by my side.”

Once the ASA organized and the Board determined that Washington was the core of the industry’s issues, Bonn took steps that few people would consider. “He packed up his Chrysler 300 along with this wife and moved to Washington, DC,” said Russell. “He wasn’t going to hope and pray someone in Washington was going to take care of the industry’s problems by sending a check or making a few phone calls; he went there to make sure it was getting done.”

Bonn rented an apartment and lived in D.C. at least two weeks a month, and sometimes for months at a time, while Congress was in session. Every day while in Washington, Bonn spent days, evenings, weekends and holidays attending Congressional meetings, dinner functions and fundraisers till the wee hours. “Like many businesses, relationships are created during social gatherings and after-hours events,” according to Russell. “Bart has earned the respect of many Washington insiders because they know the sacrifices he made to be there, representing his business and his industry.”

After years of leading our industry’s efforts, Bonn has stepped down as ASA President and will now be playing a consulting role as Immediate Past President. Melinda Norton, ASA’s newly elected President, is no stranger to Washington and has represented our industry alongside Bonn for the past several years. “Bart has been a great face for our industry and I’m proud to follow in his footsteps,” said Norton.

Bonn will continue traveling to Washington for at least another year offering his insight to ASA’s new leadership. “Bart has opened more doors for our industry than anyone could have,” said Russell. “His leadership couldn’t have come at a better time for our industry.”