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Are ‘Vapers’ Smokers for Insurance Purposes?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services is weighing whether health insurers who participate in Affordable Care Act exchanges can levy a tobacco surcharge on e-cigarette users; the latest point of debate over the products' health risks...
June 4, 2014

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) is weighing whether health insurers who participate in Affordable Care Act exchanges can levy a tobacco surcharge on e-cigarette users; the latest point of debate over the products' health risks. Nearly 90 percent of 151 life insurance underwriters said they consider an e-cigarette user a smoker, and about 40 percent said their company has an underwriting policy with respect to their use, according to a May survey by Munich American Reassurance Co. Of the 62 underwriters who indicated their insurance company has an underwriting policy on e-cigarettes, more than 80 percent classify them as a tobacco product. “We don’t know what the health effects of e-cigarettes are, but we do know nicotine has potential negative effects,” said Mark Skillan, a medical director at Munich American Reassurance Co.

Burning Question: Are 'Vapers' Smokers? (Wall Street Journal 5/29/14) (subscription)

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