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This has been a bone of contention in the insurance industry for a number of years now. What classes as a smoker? E-Cigarettes are hailed as a healthy alternative to traditional tobacco based products but for many the research on this is still too vague to confirm this.

There was a time that some insurance applications asked if you had used tobacco based products within the last twelve month; including cigarettes, cigars, chewing tobacco and pipe smoking. This meant that for some time e-cigarette users were able to apply for Life Insurance, Critical Illness and Income Protection policies as non-smokers.

Following a number of media articles a few years ago questioning whether e-cigarettes users are classed as smokers, insurers updated their applications to take into account the growing use of the devices. Insurance applications will now typically ask if you have used any nicotine based products in the last 12 months to establish if you are classed as a smoker or not.

This has now broadened the smoker status of a client to include the use of nicotine-based e-cigarettes as well as other products such as nicotine gum and nicotine patches.

We have recently approached a number of our insurance providers (Aegon, AIG and Aviva) who have confirmed that anyone who uses nicotine free e-cigarettes is classed as a non-smoker for their insurance applications. Being classed as a non-smoker for Life Insurance, Critical Illness and Income Protection policies can make a huge difference to policy premiums.

A 30 year old office administrator looking for £200,000 Life Insurance or Critical Illness Cover over 20 years could see the following premium differences, between smoker and non-smoker status:

Smoker Monthly Premium* Non-smoker Monthly Premium*
Life Insurance £13.99 £8.91
Critical Illness Cover Only £55.11 £37.24

We think that this development for nicotine free e-cigarette users could be of real benefit to many people, making these vital insurance policies much more affordable. If you are uncertain as to whether you are classed as a smoker or non-smoker when you apply for your Life Insurance please feel free to speak with one of our insurance advisers on 0800 567 7450 who can help you through the application process.

It is very important that you ensure that your smoker status is correct when you apply for your Life Insurance as any discrepancy in your smoker status could result in any policy claim being declined.

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