Jonel Gomez, MSN, ARNP, FNP-BC, GNP-BC
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Contact Linda Woody at 856-642-4420
MOUNT LAUREL, N.J. April 1, 2010 – At the 28th Annual Convention of the Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA), held in Florida this past week, dermatology nurses overwhelmingly agreed that signing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act levying a tanning bed usage tax is a great step forward in protecting the health of Americans. A poll of convention attendees revealed the majority also agree that legislators and government leaders should allocate these funds to educate our society about sun protection and skin cancer prevention.
The DNA has been actively involved in skin cancer prevention education and health policy reform for over four years. To this end, DNA's position on the hazards of indoor tanning was drafted and approved by the Board of Directors. In addition, DNA endorsed SunAWARE, an acronym designed to teach primary and secondary skin cancer prevention. SunAWARE education has been delivered throughout the United States by DNA members in 2008's Ride 4 Melanoma and 2009's Don't Fry Day campaign. DNA members have also lobbied state legislatures for tougher tanning laws for minors in Montana, Massachusetts and Maryland.
This legislation is important, because ultraviolet radiation from both natural and artificial sources have been proven to cause the two deadly forms of skin cancer, malignant melanoma and squamous cell. Skin cancer, the most common form of cancer in the United States, is increasing annually and one person dies every hour from this preventable and easily recognizable disease.
"The DNA believes that the incorporation of this tax into our new Health Care Reform bill will send an important message to the public that this is unsafe behavior, just like smoking."said DNA Executive Director Victoria Elliott. "But beyond the tax, accurate information must be provided to indoor tanning consumers regarding appropriate protection from the sun and artificial light, and the best ways to prevent skin cancer."
About the Dermatology Nurses' Association
The Dermatology Nurses' Association (DNA) is a professional nursing organization committed to quality care through sharing knowledge and expertise. Since its inception in 1983, the DNA has grown to over 3,000 members, including nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical and vocation nurses, medical assistants and physician assistants, all with an interest in the practice of dermatology nursing. For additional information on the DNA's position on indoor tanning and sun safety tips, please visit www.dnanurse.org. Follow the DNA on Twitter @DNAnurses and become a fan of DNA on Facebook.