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Doctors & Health Insurance Question...

Discussion in 'New Members Forum' started by ElectroLoki, Jul 6, 2010.

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  1. ElectroLoki

    ElectroLoki Full Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    London, UK
    Hey all!

    Just got a quick question about medical insurance and how vaporizers relate...

    When you're asked officially "Are you a smoker? / How long have you been smoking?" for insurance and medical purposes... what do you answer??

    Obviously the reason they ask is to determine your health status based on the negative effects of tobacco. Since vapers aren't exposed to all the nasties that traditional smokers are... should we answer no to these questions? I mean... yes, we technically smoke for the nicotine... buuuuut, is it right to second-guess the question? And (specifically in my case) would not classing vaping as 'smoking' hold up in a legal situation?

    (PS: I'm a UK vaper, so this applies more to the NHS... but the same would apply for health insurance, life insurance for buying property, etc... )
  2. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    My insurance is up for renewal in a few months, and... nope. I don't plan to.

    I don't smoke anything. Nothing's on fire. I'm not inhaling carbon monoxide. I don't smoke.
  3. ElectroLoki

    ElectroLoki Full Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    London, UK
    That's my reasoning too... but would the uneducated insurance people understand that?

    We get confronted vaping in public all the time because people ldon't understand that its NOT smoking. If the insurance people are not in the know, would the think it invalidates a claim?
  4. Automaton

    Automaton Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 23, 2010
    Honestly, I don't see how they'd find out. With the information we have at this point (not just from e-cigs, but from the cumulative knowledge about the process they utilize and the ingredients in e-juice that's been compiled over decades), there is no reason to think you would come down with a smoking-related illness due to e-cigarettes.

    I've seen a few posts here about people telling their docs about e-cigs. And some of them agree that it doesn't count as smoking.

    I don't plan to take that risk, personally. I'm sticking to "I don't smoke."

    But that's probably because I'm an American who's embittered about the insanity that is the American insurance system. Even for a non-smoker, normal human beings can't really afford insurance. Add smoking to that? Rich people only.

    So I just don't plan to tell them.
  5. DaveP

    DaveP PV Master & Musician ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 22, 2010
    Central GA
    My wife and I had to have blood tests before buying a life insurance policy. A nurse came by the house, drew blood, checked our blood pressure, and filled out a medical history form. They also called out family doctor and requested our medical records which revealed the fact that I told the doctor I smoked. Make sure you note that you quit on your doctor's medical records or they will assume you still smoke.

    I don't know how long you have to be tobacco free before the rates drop. If it's a company work policy, you probably only have to select tobacco free. If you are buying an individual policy, there may be a period before you qualify. Yesterday won't be good enough.
  6. carguy50

    carguy50 Full Member

    Apr 16, 2010
    If there ever is a dispute your insurance company will test you for nicotine if you are vaping with nicotine I'm afraid you could have a long uphill battle
  7. ElectroLoki

    ElectroLoki Full Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    London, UK
    Yeah. There's the possibility of a random blood test which will certainly show up the nicotine... which is what I'm worried about.

    Is an insurance company going to care enough to investigate fully? Or, in other words... do they want to pay out? I... doubt it somehow. :\
  8. Buckstop

    Buckstop Full Member

    Jun 30, 2010
    Something else to think about. I felt I would be a non-smoker. I would think the nicotine would be no different than the patch or anything else. Wonder how the patch people answer that question??
  9. PaulB

    PaulB Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Feb 12, 2010
    I'll bet, at least in the USA, there are more people with long-term Nicorette or Nicoderm habits than there are PV users. I wonder how they handle insurance--and how insurance handles them.
  10. Kate51

    Kate51 Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Mar 27, 2009
    Argyle Wi USA
    This is a very good question, this is so far rather un-charted territory.
    If the form asks is you smoke, and you 100% use a PV, technically you do not smoke. If it asks do you use tobacco products, again say no. If it asks do you use nicotine, answer yes. But they never ask if you drink coffee or eat Big Macs. Unfair.
    As far as I've been able to understand, a bit of nicotine is not any more deadly than coffee or Mountain Dew. My blood pressure is 110/62, and I'm 63 years old, so I know I'm not on the verge of collapse. My blood/oxygen is 97+%. I'm still moving! I've never been to Three Mile Island or Chernobyl.
    HOWEVER: Any testing would be for nicotine, not lungsful of tar and toxins, carcinogens, and CO2 in your tissues. Which is hardly fair, MHO. I think if we knew the awful truth, no nicotine test would be asked for if you claim to be a non-smoker. They have other methods to disqualify you or ask exhorbitant fees, high chloresterol would be one!
    I also claimed myself as a non-smoker. I have been for a year-and-a-half, if there's ever a problem it will be a "pre-existing condition" and insurance would be denied if I ever need a lung transplant. My overall health, however, as a non-smoker, is hugely improved, I mean HUGE. A pretty good "risk" as a policy-holder. Except for my age.
    See, you're screwed no matter how you answer, they've got you for one thing or another!!
  11. martha1014

    martha1014 Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 8, 2009
    Delhi, LA USA
    i put non smoker on all forms that I fill out. If they test for nicotine I can always say I wear a patch.

    I think most people who didn't understand what ecigs are would classify you as a smoker.
  12. piratecaptainbob

    piratecaptainbob Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 5, 2010
    north carolina
    pretty soon they will have to change the form asking are you a smoker? no are you a vaper? yes, and adjust your rates for the nicotine but not toxins etc. unless it all gets banned then idk
  13. potholerepairman

    potholerepairman Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Nov 10, 2009
    On health insurance or doctor form I have always said no -smoker.Insurance is such a racket, on the level of evil it goes right below mobile check-cashing vans.Everyone needs insurance just not the way they exclude deny or overcharge for it.The health record is too permanant for me to tell em I ever smoked.
  14. ElectroLoki

    ElectroLoki Full Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    London, UK
    I'm planning on indicating that I'm a non-smoker I think, as I came to the same conclusion. It is of course COMMON SENSE we're talking about here, and there's very little of THAT around!

    Yeah, you speak the truths. I only hope that a blood test doesn't come up (its a random check they do occasionally here) and if I get denied then wish me luck in defending my case!
  15. Taegost

    Taegost Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jul 6, 2010
    Tampa Bay, Fl
    Hrmm, interesting, I didn't think about that when I initially decided to start vaping... I guess it's pretty much a moot point, but I plan on saying non-smoker as well, because it will be true.
  16. Moonflame

    Moonflame Ultra Member ECF Veteran

    I started at a new Doctor recently and I answered that no I did not smoke and then wrote in above it that I use and e-cig for Nicotine Replacement.
  17. Poeia

    Poeia Bird Brain Verified Member ECF Veteran

    I told my doctor that I quit by using a PV and he was delighted. A couple of weeks ago I went nicotine free and his reaction is that my getting pneumonia might be the most advantageous infection ever. I would definitely tell a new doctor about my smoking history. There are potential long-term effects from smoking that he should know to be on the lookout for.

    But most forms ask if you smoked in the last 12 months. Five and a half months from now I get to say "no."
  18. johnnybgdg

    johnnybgdg Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 11, 2010
    S. Cal
    I would not even bring vaping up. the questions asks "do you smoke" the answer is no!!
    I will be contacting my insurance to let them know that i quit smoking and see if or when that will re-adjust my rate.
    Thanks for bringing that up, I didn't even think about that.
    Keep Vaping
  19. Sarlen

    Sarlen Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 16, 2010
    Blue Cross Blue Shield considers the use of a PV as Nicotine Replacement Therapy. To qualify for the cheaper non smoker rates you must not have smoked OR been on a Nicotine Replacement Therapy program in the last 12 months. That is the explanation I was given from HR, confirmed with an online chat with the insurance company.
  20. ElectroLoki

    ElectroLoki Full Member

    Apr 1, 2010
    London, UK
    Ah, Sarlen, so your insurance place considers vaping to be on par with smoking huh? Thats just... not right.

    johnnybgdg, see... NOT bringing it up could be construed as lying about the whole thing, and would not be in your favour.

    Nicotine replacement... its a good term. Worth remembering for use if any of proverbial excrement DOE hit the fan.

    (Admins/Mods might wanna include a section about PV's and insurance in one of the newbie guides? Or pin this one? Quite an important topic I think!)
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