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Here’s How Smoking Can Affect Health Insurance Policies

Smoking can have an adverse impact on your health, and this is a well-known fact. Cigarettes manufacturers  are required to print a statutory warning on all boxes mentioning “smoking is injurious to health.” Approximately 30% of deaths from cancer are attributed to smoking. Apart from that, smoking also increases the risk of heart diseases by 16%.  Companies that offer health insurance policies have taken note of this matter and are charging extra premiums from people who smoke.

The number of smokers in the world is growing significantly, and the habit is not just confined to the adults. Teenagers and schoolchildren are beginning to emulate their seniors, perhaps with the intention of showing off. What they fail to realize is that they could soon develop an addiction that would be difficult to break away from. They may also be unaware of the higher premiums they will need to pay for health insurance policies whenever they decide to purchase one for themselves. As such, there is a need to educate them about the negative impacts of smoking on their health as well as their finances.

“Smoking I find the most ridiculous of all the varieties of human behavior and practically the only one that is entirely against nature. Can you imagine a cow or any animal taking a mouthful of smoldering straw then breathing in the smoke and blowing it out through its nostrils?” ― Ian Fleming 

 What Do Health Insurance Companies Consider As Smoking?

Health insurance companies consider the inhalation of smoke from burning tobacco in the form of cigarettes or cigars as smoking. They do not care whether you are a regular tobacco user or just an occasional user.

The word health organization says that passive smoking also creates many problems among people who are not accustomed to smoking. Fortunately, insurance companies have considered the advice provided by the WHO and have exempted passive smokers from the conditions set for smokers.

 Can Active Smokers Purchase Health Insurance Policies?

Insurance companies have not prohibited active smokers from purchasing health insurance policies. However, they usually charge an extra premium from active smokers. In some cases, they may even reject the application depending on the number of cigarettes an applicant smokes per day.

Active smokers may also be required to go through additional health checkups to help the insurance company to understand any risk factors they may be exposed to and to charge premiums accordingly.

 How Does Smoking Affect Your Health Insurance Premium

Smoking can leave have a serious impact on your health in the form of the following:

Circulatory system.

Smoking results in an increased risk of heart attacks and high blood pressure. The building up of fatty acids can lead to atherosclerosis.

Immune system. 

Smoking can result in severe, long-lasting illnesses. Active smokers are prone to high blood pressure, bronchitis, cancer, pneumonia, ulcers and other viral, bacterial, and fungal infections.

Respiratory system.

Smoking can and will damage the functioning of the lungs and cause breathlessness. It can cause major damage to the air sacs of the lungs, increasing the chances of developing bronchitis.

Oral health.

Smoking can have a serious impact on oral health, leaving the user with problems of tooth loss, gum disease, and tooth staining. When combined, these can increase the risk of tooth decay.


Active smokers who have been indulging in this habit for long are susceptible to cancer of the mouth, lungs and other organs.

“Smoking kills. If you’re killed, you’ve lost a very important part of your life.”  Brooke Shields

When an active smoker decides to buy a health insurance policy, the provider will take into account the magnitude of all illnesses and deaths caused by smoking. Therefore, the applicant will be required to pay a higher premium as a cover for the risk factors. Insurance companies normally demand an extra 15 to 20% of the premiums for a health insurance policy from active smokers.

As you can see, smoking can have a long-term impact on your life both regarding your health and your finances, especially when you try to purchase health insurance policies.

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