Vaping and insurance
Given the fact that the nicotine level in e-cigarettes varies highly, many insurance policies are treating vapers like smokers. These insurers will usually define anyone who used a nicotine product, including the e-cigarette, during the last 12 months as a smoker. Like vapers aren’t already facing the injustice by increasing implementation of vaping/smoking equating laws, insurers are doing the same. Why is it then that vaping is seen equal to tobacco use in the eyes of those providing us with our insurance policies?
You are vaping? Here is the smoker’s insurance premium for you!
First and foremost, the medical opinion is that people who whether smoke or vape are more likely to develop health issues and pass away at a younger age. Not that there is no any health risk for non-smokers and non-vapers, and of course that no one is immune to death. However, compared to those not using any nicotine or tobacco related product, both vapers and smokers will most likely find themselves paying more for life insurance. However, are the e-cigs really that bad to be equated with smoking?
Regardless the type of the cigarette you are using, you can surely expect higher insurance costs as long as you are not smoke or vape-free for a full year. After the implementation of Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare), insurers have set their premiums up to 50% higher for smokers, because they are consciously exposing themselves to mentioned medical problems and risks. Interestingly, this act boosted the consumption of e-cigs, as insurance for smokers became unaffordable.
Cloud of hope before the FDA
At first, before 2016 when the FDA took complete control over regulating all tobacco products, e-cigs and vapers were able to avoid the harshness of applying for insurance cunningly. Back then, e-cig users and vapers didn’t necessarily need to report usage of such devices on their healthcare coverage applications. At that time they were not considered a tobacco product, hence vaping was not categorized as using tobacco. Additionally, they were not (as they still aren’t) approved as a smoking cessation product. That way, when answering the questions “Do you use tobacco products?” and “Do you use any smoking cessation products?” by saying “No” vapers were still honestly answering the posed questions.
All of this, of course, changed in 2016 when the FDA expanded its regulations. In 2016, FDA extended its authority to regulate and cover all of the tobacco products, while not excluding vaporizers, vape pens, hookah pens, electronic cigarettes, e-pipes, and all other Electronic Nicotine Delivery Products from this addition. Since this extension, insurance premiums for vapers are skyrocketing.
Lethal tobacco, harmless vaping, medical gums – it’s all the same thing!
The problem with such service is that it equates vaping with smoking, and it shouldn’t be doing so. If lawmakers and legislators are doing so, those who are dealing with health and medical sciences should not be equating these two. Yes, vaping can contain nicotine, but not necessarily. Vapers can regulate the nicotine level, which can also be zero. Yes, zero nicotine, even if you would choose a tobacco flavored e-liquid for your vaping device. When you compare e-cigarettes to regular ones, it is evident how much these two differ, as you can read here. Despite this, insurers will still treat vapers as they are treating smokers, and will be asking if you used ANY nicotine products when you go to get your health insurance quote.
All of this leads to the following: if you vape, you will pay the same fee for your insurance as those who are partaking in the world’s number one preventable cause of death – smoking. The problem is that many insurers don’t even care how an applicant/potential client is getting their nicotine. Whether you smoke, vape, use a pipe or even gum, you will be considered a smoker. To put it this way, you will not be accepted as a non-smoker if you chewed a nicotine replacement gum, wore a patch, or vaped in the last 12 months from the moment of application. In such scenarios, all benefits of vaping are completely ignored, as it seems.
Time will tell what will unfold in future insurance applications for vapers. In the meantime, how hard it must be to keep your cool while everyone is equating you with smoking, when you are not smoking at all?