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Insurance question: are we smokers or not?

Discussion in 'Health, Safety and Vaping' started by CameraGuy, Aug 10, 2013.

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  1. CameraGuy

    CameraGuy Full Member

    Aug 7, 2013
    I did a quick search and didn't find anything that answered my question so here goes.

    Are vapers considered smokers by insurance companies?

    If not, how long after quitting cigarettes before you should contact them to tell them you're not a smoker anymore?

    Anyone know or have a guess?
  2. JimSmith94

    JimSmith94 Full Member Verified Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Irving, TX USA
    I have United Healthcare at work and asked them the question. Electronic cigarettes don't have tobacco so vaping isn't considered as smoking, the same as the patch or gum.
  3. Barbara21

    Barbara21 Moved On

    May 21, 2013
    Greenville, SC, USA
    My insurance company asked if I used 'tobacco'. I said 'no' (which is true). If they had asked if I were a 'smoker', I would have, again, said 'no'. If they had asked if I used 'tobacco products', I would have asked for a clarification.
  4. patkin

    patkin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Arizona USA
    In my limited experience, the question has changed from "Do you smoke" to "Do you use tobacco" to "Do you use nicotine?" So, eventually, the latter will be the one they all ask. So, my goal is to go zero nic eventually but that won't mean quitting vaping. I vape tobacco flavors in an eroll (cigalike) so when the nic addiction is gone (actually not sure I still have one) it will still take the place of smoking for me.
  5. CameraGuy

    CameraGuy Full Member

    Aug 7, 2013
    I imagine the answer might vary from one insurance company to the next. I know I'm not a smoker anymore, but my insurance company's definition might say that I am. Thanks or the replies :)
  6. candimccann

    candimccann Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Mar 15, 2012
    Lenexa, KS, US
    Like patkin said, it's all in the wording of the question. Smoking vs. tobacco use vs. nicotine use.

    My current insurance asked about smoking and then required participation in a cessation program in order to keep the reduced rate (Our plan that has two rates, lower if you participate in ongoing activities to collect points throughout the year. If the savings wasn't so much I'd tell them to shove their points up their ... but it's a huge savings so I will continue to chase points).
  7. telsie

    telsie Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 26, 2009
    When it comes to life insurance, Allstate is not your friend. They consider you a "smoker" if you use any form of nicotine.
  8. Hoffbrew

    Hoffbrew Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Clovis, CA
    When our families life insurance was updated I had just stopped smoking about 3 weeks prior, asked if I was a smoker and I said no. I had to do a blood test and test came back that I was, so Marlboro was still in my system. Insurance said I can retest whenever I would like. I would like to now. BUT.. My juice has nicotine in it. What are these insurance co testing for? I was not using a e-cig at this time.
  9. VANA

    VANA Moved On

    Aug 13, 2013
    Fortladderdale, Fl
    I would say no, and if they do lung tests / blood tests and such you should come up clean. since the FDA does not regulate vapeing they insurance copy may address it as another flaw and will increase your insurance. Also it will shorten your AD family benefits.
    After smoking I'd declare I quit after one and ahalf months as your lungs will look healthier under inspection and your blood tests should come up negative for tobacco toxins. Check with your insurance for what they are testing for, for clarification.
  10. Rickajho

    Rickajho ECF Guru Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Apr 23, 2011
    Boston MA
    Looking at in another way, it all comes down to what you pee in a cup. If the employer or insurance company insists on testing and they find you positive for nicotine that is where they are drawing the line. So then I guess they should change the question to "Will you test positive for nicotine?"

    This all drives me quite insane. The buttsumption that nicotine = smoking. So a positive test for nicotine means you are bad. So there. I thought 1984 already came and went?
  11. Zbeast08

    Zbeast08 Ultra Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Supporting member
    May 18, 2013
    Wilson, NC, USA
    With my company, it is all about the nicotine!! I am told that after ayear of vaping, you can go 5 days with no vaping, test will show clean of nicotine. I have about 10 more months and then 5 days of 0 nic and hopefully get a preferred rate!!
  12. nomoe

    nomoe Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 4, 2013
    ftworth, tx
  13. patkin

    patkin Vaping Master ECF Veteran

    Nov 6, 2012
    Arizona USA
    Just use a clean tank/atty and vape zero nic for a week. If you like menthol, that works.
  14. telsie

    telsie Super Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Jun 26, 2009
    Insurance companies usually test for cotinine, which is a nicotine metabollite. If you use any nicotine products, you'll test positive and get a smoker rate. If you plan to ween off nicotine and want to be able to figure out when you're clear of cotinine, you can buy test kits to use at home. Here's one I bought a while back just to see, out of curiosity, if I would actually test positive while using a low-nic (8mg) juice in my ecig (FYI, I tested positive).
  15. Bliss Doubt

    Bliss Doubt Senior Member ECF Veteran

    Dec 10, 2012
    San Antonio
    Boy is this making me crazy! I wonder how you'd be assessed if you said you used nicotine gum or a patch to stay off cigarettes, and that you'd been doing so for two years. They usually ask if you have used any tobacco products in the past two years. That's why I'm emphasizing the two years.
  16. Hoffbrew

    Hoffbrew Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Clovis, CA
    I am doing it... I am calling my insurance person right now. Please hold.....
  17. r77r7r

    r77r7r ECF Guru ECF Veteran

    Feb 15, 2011
    This type of threads come up every other month. I'm still waiting for someone to come back and let us know how to beat this system and with what insurance companies. At least let us know how many weeks of zero nic it takes to beat the continine tests.
  18. Hoffbrew

    Hoffbrew Senior Member Verified Member ECF Veteran

    Aug 7, 2013
    Clovis, CA
    Gum and patch will show up on urine test, he knows nothing on the e-cigs or patatoes lol. He will make some calls on e-cig usage and get back to me.
  19. Rickg

    Rickg Full Member

    Aug 17, 2013
    Portland, OR, USA
    I think they need to start testing for something other than cotinine. I read that they look for anabasine if you tell them that you are using the patch or gum. Apparently anabasine is found in smokers, but not people using pure nicotine. Does anyone know if juice contains anabasine?

    The Wikipedia article says that menthol makes cotinine stay in the blood longer, so if you are trying to make sure you test negative for cotinine you'll want to avoid anything with menthol.
  20. freshness

    freshness Full Member Verified Member

    Aug 19, 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    I have New York Life and they test for nicotine!
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