World No Tobacco Day 2021 – Smoking, Vaping and Life Insurance

This year No Tobacco Day falls on Monday 31st May. Its theme is ‘Commit to Quit’.

The WHO states that- “The Covid -19 Pandemic has led to millions of tobacco users saying they want to quit today and sign the pledge”.

For Life Assurance Underwriters smoking remains a key question in assessing the applicant risk. Smokers will have to pay more for their cover. The reason is simple. Smoking is bad for you! It has been said that campaigns to stop smoking have saved more lives than antibiotics! Underwriters recognise that stopping smoking is just about the best thing you can do to improve your health and after a year of not smoking applicants will be rated as non-smokers.

Vaping continues to be treated as smoking by underwriters. Although it is recognised that vaping is a useful option to quit smoking its long-term effects are not yet known and regulation of vaping products is still being developed.

The Lancet highlighted a study that surveyed 4,351 adolescents and young adults aged 13-24. This, worryingly, suggests that “the effects of vaping may be colliding with the risk of Covid-19. Those reporting the use of e-cigarettes only or dual use with tobacco were at a five or seven-times increased risk, respectively, of a Covid-19 diagnosis, compared with non-users.”

The accumulating evidence has prompted regulators to write to the US Food and Drug Administration commissioner, to ask for e-cigarettes to be withdrawn during the pandemic.

At the beginning of the pandemic there were rumours that smoking would provide protection against Covid-19. Private Eye issue of 28th May/10th June 2021 carries an interesting article on this subject. The European Respiratory Journal retracted a report that suggested that smokers were protected from Covid-19 after it was discovered that Big Tobacco funding was behind the report!

At Pulse we continue to provide Life Assurance for individuals with a wide range of pre-existing medical conditions including respiratory problems. We cannot always provide every applicant with the cover required, but it certainly increase our chances of doing so if the applicant is a non-smoker!  And when we do provide cover, it will include Covid-19. 

Whilst we cannot provide Life Assurance in all circumstances, Accidental Death cover can provide some protection whilst you go through the life underwriting process.

To find out if cover may be available, please contact us on:

[email protected] or call the team on 01280 841430.

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