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E-Cigs, Smoker’s Rates or Not?

Written by Jason Patterson

E-Cigs and vaping are quickly taking over the tobacco industry. The difference between “vaping” and traditional e-cigs, is that traditional e-cigs heat or “burn” the liquid. Vapor e-cigs vaporize liquid and allows it to be released into the air without any burning, so it lasts longer.

In the last 4 years alone, e-cig sales have more than doubled, from $1.5 billion to over $3.6 billion dollars, and has already become more popular than smoking cigarettes to teenagers and young adults.

Cigarette smokers still outnumber e -cig users almost 20 to 1, but this rise in popularity is still very relevant and notable. Now, 1 in 10 Americans “vape”.

So how does this affect your life insurance rates?

I’m sure you want to know if life insurance companies view a “vaper” the same as they view a smoker.

Valid question, because the answer to this question may be worth thousands of dollars worth of premiums.

First we need to determine what is inside an e-cig, or anything that we vape.

Essentially, there is a liquid inside your e-cig or vape that gets heated.

Most commonly, that liquid contains:

  • Nicotine
  • Flavorings

Nicotine is the same addictive substance found in cigarettes and other tobacco products.

This is important to note, because life insurance companies, when testing for tobacco use, test your blood (or urine) for traces of nicotine (more accurately cotinine.)

If a life insurance company finds nicotine in your system, they can safely classify you as a tobacco user.

Since Nicotine is inside e-cigs and vapes, your urine or blood will show that you have nicotine in your system.

E-Cigs And Life Insurance Companies

life insurance rates for e-cig users

Every insurance company views e-cigs differently. There is not a lot of research done on the long-term health of e-cig smokers, which means insurance companies are unsure of what they should do about life insurance rates for anyone that vapes.

Because they’re still new, we don’t know what’s going to happen to smokers in the long-term. The insurance company is trying to decide how much of a risk vapers are, but since they don’t know, most insurance companies are going to automatically give you smoker’s rates.

Another problem with electronic cigarettes is that they are not regulated by the FDA. There are no rules and regulations on how electronic cigarettes are managed. Because there are no regulations on the mechanics, insurance companies are going to be more wary of them.

The FDA has also not endorsed e-cigarettes as a safer alternative to cigarettes.

So I Have To Pay The Same As A Cigarette Smoker?

Not necessarily. It’s very important that you tell your life insurance agent the entire story and let them know what e-cigs or vapes that you use, how often, and if you exclusively “vape” without ever using traditional tobacco products. Many life insurance companies will work with you to get a better cost on your premiums, as long as they have all the facts.

PRO-TIP: Certain life insurance companies will give a non-smoking classification to people that use vapor-based e-cigs vs heat-based.

Don’t Lie on a Life Insurance Applicaiton

what happens when you lie on a life insurance application

On your application, one of the first questions that you will need to answer is if you use tobacco products, and if so, when was the last time you used some.

You also never want to give the insurance company the chance to void or cancel your policy just to save some money on your premiums.

If you pass away, and your insurance company finds out you lied on your application, they can claim it as fraud on the policy and refuse to pay your death benefit. The risks far outweigh the reward.

While it may be generally considered safer, there is no proof that your health is better off with e-cigs than with cigarettes. For this reason, life insurance companies don’t consider vaping as a good cessation tool for smoking, but as just another product containing nicotine.

What Classification Will I Receive?

If you really want to be classified as a non-smoker on your life insurance policy, life insurance companies want to see at least 1 year since you last smoked, and no traces of nicotine in your urine (or blood.)

More than likely, you will still be classified as a smoker, but your underwriter may get you better cost of premiums based on usage and the fact that it isn’t a tobacco product.

E-Cigs VS. Traditional Cigs


Electronic cigarettes come in a variety of flavors and types. Some smokers use e-cigs and vaping to quit traditional cigarettes. There are some e-cigs that you can buy that have zero nicotine, thousands of smokers have used it to quit their traditional cigarette habit.

On the surface, this may seem like an excellent way to improve your health.

Only time will tell if the electronic version is better than their traditional counterpart. As for now, if you vape, you’ll find that you get drastically different rates depending on which company that you get the quote from.

Most companies are going to give you smoker’s rates, but other companies are going to offer you much more affordable non-smokers rates. Around 90% of underwriters say that they consider e-cigs smoking, but that means that there are around 10% that will still give you non-smokers rates.

If they classify you as a smoker, you’ll need to prepare for rates twice as high. On the other hand, if the company doesn’t view your e-cigs as smoking, you can enjoy cheaper coverage.

Getting Affordable Life Insurance With Electronic Cigarettes

affordable life insurance rates for e-cig smokers

Aside from getting dozens of quotes, it’s important that you make some changes to get the lowest insurance premiums available. There are a few simple lifestyle changes that you can add that will lower your rates.

The insurance company is going to require a medical exam. The medical exam is how they get a detailed view of your health. If they see you’re in better health, you get cheaper premiums.

Two ways that you can improve your health are by starting an exercise program and start a diet. Each of these can have a wonderful impact on your health.

Another way to save money is to cut out any dangerous hobbies that you have. If you enjoy skydiving or rock climbing on the weekends, then you’re going to be considered a high-risk applicant, and that is going to translate into much higher insurance premiums. If you want to save money, then you’ll need to find safer hobbies.

Life Insurance for E-Cig Smokers

We know that shopping for life insurance is not a fun experience. It can be long and tedious, but it’s essential. It’s one of the only ways that you can ensure that your loved ones will have the money that they need.

There are thousands and thousands of different companies on the market, which means that you could spend weeks calling different companies to get the best rates. Instead, let one of our independent agents get all of the best rates for you. Giving us a call is like calling dozens of carriers instantly.

Think of your life insurance as a very big safety net. It’s there if you need it, but not having it can lead to some serious problems.

Why Working With an Insurance Agent is Important

While online quoting engines have made it easier than ever to compare dozens of rates almost instantly, insurance agents still know the intricate details of the insurance application process that can help save you even more money and get the best coverage for your given situation.

On top of this, most of the time, speaking with an insurance agent is entirely free. It is no different than consulting an expert before making other large and important purchases in your life like mortgages and stock investments. You want to have the best information possible in order to make the best decision for you and your family.

Work with one of our life insurance agents today to get the most affordable coverage for your situation.

Compare the best life insurance rates for smokers here

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About Jason Patterson
About Jason Patterson

Jason Patterson has been in the insurance industry for over fifteen years. Starting in 2005, he became one of the first agents to sell medicare supplements online. From that small start, he grew an agency that helped thousands of people with their insurance needs in all fifty states.

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