The botox injection industry has 2.5 million reasons to lobby why a 10 percent tax on indoor tanning makes more sense to them than a 5 percent tax on botox injections and other cosmetic surgeries: That’s the astounding number of botox injections they popped into patients in 2009, according to figures released Tuesday by the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery.
Americans spent $10.5 billion on elective procedures in 2009, with botox and other non-surgical procedures leading the boom. Botox was by far the biggest cosmetic procedure, with 1.3 million other wrinkle “filling” injections such as Juvederm and Restylane also being pumped into patients.
The botox lobby along with the American Academy of Dermatology Association lobbied the U.S. Senate in December to remove a would-be 5 percent tax on cosmetic surgery procedures from the Senate’s health care bill — replacing the tax with a proposed 10 perent tax on indoor tanning sessions.
There were nearly eight times as many botox injections as breast augmentations in 2009, ASAP reported.
Dr. Richard Fleming, a facial plastic surgeon and co-director of The Beverly Hills Institute in California, told CNN that even unemployed turn to botox as a legitimate procedure. “From executives to everyday working people in the corporate world particularly, they look at improving their appearances as an investment in their future, because appearance does count,” he told CNN. “If they don’t look as good as the person with similar qualifications, my bet is on the person who looks more rested and looks better than the one who looks tired.”
Fleming targeted unemployed workers in particular. “While people are out of work, they’re not doing it for personal reasons because they want to look better,” he said. “They’re doing it because it’s more competitive than it was before the recession. That’s their stimulus – spending money trying to get in the workforce.”
To read CNN’s coverage of the ASAP announcement click here.