With the FDA's announcement embracing vaping as a tool for harm reduction the US seems poised to move away from the damaging and hurtful rhetoric equating vaping to smoking. But when it comes to insurance, it seems there's still some confusion about the difference between Vaping and Smoking. Vapers in both the US across the pond in the UK are stuck paying the same rates as Smokers.“It is just not fair,” says Linda Bauld, professor of health policy at the UK's Stirling University, believes insurers classifying people who use e-cigarettes as being the same as smokers is “fundamentally wrong”.
“As well as being financially punitive to people who vape, it can also send negative messages to those who want to stop smoking. It is not helpful.
“If vapers are regarded as being the same as tobacco smokers it could lead to an attitude of ‘why bother’ and before you know it they are back at the corner shop buying cigarettes.”
With over 9 million people using vapor products in the US and 3 million in the UK, this makes up a sizable chunk of the insurance market. Bauld says people who vape and do not use combustible forms of tobacco should be treated the same as non-smokers by insurance companies.
This applies to both health and life insurance, which in some cases was over double the monthly rate for people rated as "smokers" than for non-smokers.
While a plethora of evidence exists showing vapor systems to be immensely less dangerous than combustible cigarettes, Insurance companies insist that the benefits of switching have not yet been fully proven.
More research is needed from institutions like the University of Minnesota's Tobacco Research Center, who is currently conducting their third major research study comparing Vaping's effects on the body to combustible cigarette user's and non-smokers.