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Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Charging E-Cigarette Users Higher Insurance Premiums

English: Electronic cigarette charger
Under the Affordable Care Act private insurers are allowed to charge a higher premium for people who use tobacco products; however, there is no clause for E-cigarettes, according to The Wall Street Journal.  Federal authorities are trying to figure out what the best course of action is with E-cigarettes, whether or not insurance companies can charge a higher premium for users. There are currently an estimated three million people in the United States using such devices. Both the tobacco industry and some health advocacy groups oppose an insurance surcharge on e-cigarette users.

The verdict is still out regarding whether or not E-cigarettes are a healthier alternative to traditional tobacco and if they are useful smoking cessation tools. If the is answer is "yes," then insurance companies would not want to charge higher premiums on E-cigarette users, if the answer is "no"… At this point there has not been enough research to support claims either way. Hopefully, more studies will be conducted to determine the position of E-cigarettes; the devices are certainly not going anywhere.

A spokesman for R.J. Reynolds Vapor Co., David Howard, told the journal, “We don’t believe policies should be implemented that might deter current smokers from considering switching to smoke-free alternative products like e-cigarettes.”

Walmart is one of a few employers who charge employees that use e-cigarettes more, citing concerns over potential health risks.
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