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Prudential to start charging same insurance rates to vapers as traditional smokers

Posted at 2:16 PM, Oct 11, 2019

A change is coming to some people’s life and health insurance policies that will make them more expensive.

Prudential recently announced it will consider e-cigarette users the same as traditional smokers.

Smokers pay on average about 50% more per year for life insurance. Depending on the policy, that’s between $350 and $800 more.

Some other companies were already charging vapers more.

The president of Consumer Watchdog, Jamie Court, says he doesn’t necessarily disagree with the practice.

“Well you know I’m no fan of the insurance industry but I think they're probably right in this circumstance and you know vaping is a relatively unknown quantity we don’t have any longitudinal studies to show what happens in 10-20-30-40 years to the lungs of people who vape,” said Court. “But there has been some evidence that people have significant scarring.”

Court says it’s a little more of a gray area when it comes to health insurance. Right now, plans under the Affordable Care Act don’t charge e-cigarette and tobacco users the same. Some states don’t allow smokers to be charged more.

At the same time, the Insurance Information Institute reports some companies have vaping in the non-smoking category because there isn’t enough data yet on the health effects. But with recent injuries and deaths from vaping, some companies now consider it a higher risk factor.

Quote Wizard , a website that compares health insurance plans, recently looked at CDC data to determine which states have the most e-cigarette users. Here are the top five:

1. Oklahoma
2. Kentucky
3. Indiana
4. Tennessee
5. Wyoming

The report also found more than 3.5 million middle and high school students use e-cigarettes.