An insurance broker has marked the growing acceptance of electronic cigarettes by classifying vapers as non-smokers on their life-insurance agreements. This will have immediate effect on parties taking out life insurance policies offered to electronic cigarette users and could have significant far-reaching repercussions.
Traditionally, smokers have been subjected to higher life insurance premiums than non-smokers due to the incurred health dangers that are attributed to tobacco products. Since Sir Richard Doll found that smoking tobacco had a direct link to lung cancer in the 1940s, cigarettes and premature mortality have been closely linked.
By aligning electronic cigarette users with non-smokers, the insurer is in tantamount declaring a belief that electronic cigarettes are significantly less injurious than traditional tobacco products. Insurers are traditionally incredibly careful about their specifications and regulations, demonstrating a strong confidence that further research would not reveal dangerous effects of vaping devices.
The insurer in question, Suttons Independent Financial Advisors, believe that vapers should not be penalised for using electronic cigarettes. Broker Harvey Sutton explained: “All insurers ask questions about tobacco use and many, but not all, ask specific questions about nicotine. We sought situations where e-cig users could honestly answer questions relating to their use of tobacco products. Electronic cigarettes are not tobacco products.”
The current medical tests that are carried out by insurers cannot differentiate between tobacco products and electronic cigarettes as they are often designed to only determine whether the party in question has any nicotine in their system. New tests will have to be developed to determine directly whether the party has used electronic cigarettes.
A wide range of other financial repercussions could come into effect if conclusive research reveals that electronic cigarettes are safe to use. The effects on financial products such as annuities would be significant for vapers who would not be penalised for their habit.
Many annuity providers are keeping their cards close to their chest as to their future policies regarding electronic cigarettes until definitive evidence about the health effects of vaping has been released.
Annuity provider Partnership’s specialist Nigel Barlow continued: “This is a very new market indeed. While e-cigs appear to cut down on some of the hazards associated with smoking, there are some questions as to the chemicals. While we do not at the moment take into account use of ecigarettes when we quote for an annuity, this may well change in future.”
These added financial incentives are an extra monetary bonus for vapers who have made the switch from traditional cigarettes. Totally Wicked released an infographic earlier this year that details the incredible savings that can be made by people converting from smoking to vaping. It seems as though the reasons to switching from tobacco cigarettes to their electronic counterparts are growing all the time.