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Life Insurance for Smokers

Life Insurance for Smokers – The Complete Guide for [2021]

Read along and you will learn how to get life insurance for smokers with the best rates insurance for smokers photo Life insurance for smokers is normally going to represent higher premiums, but not always. It can depend mainly on what form of tobacco you use and also how much you use it. Sometimes you can qualify for non-smoker rates!

We will go over everything you will need to know so you don’t pay one more penny than you should. We work with over 40 life insurance companies. Choosing the company that is the most liberal towards tobacco use is the key to unlocking the lowest rates.

Smoking cigarettes is not the only concern when it comes to tobacco use on your application

There are several other forms of tobacco products that go under the underwriting microscope other than cigarette smoking.

Here are a few examples:

  • Cigar Smoking
  • Chewing Tobacco
  • Electronic Cigarettes (also known as E-Cigarettes)
  • Marijuana can sometimes be classified as smoking.
  • Snuff such as Skoal, Copenhagen, Kodiak, etc. 
  • Pipe Smoking
  • Nicotine Patches or Gum

Virtually any type of tobacco product that will be chewed, absorbed, or smoked will be taken into consideration on a life insurance application.

Common questions and answers concerning applying for life insurance for smokers

Q: I don’t smoke but my life insurance application came back with a smoker rate with much higher premiums, what gives?

A: Tobacco was found in your system stemming from the use of other tobacco products such as chewing tobacco, nicotine patches, or gum. This is not uncommon, to say the least, because most people don’t realize these other products are even considered.

Q: Why do life insurance companies charge more for smokers than for non-smokers?

A: That question is very simple to answer due to the fact smokers normally live a shorter lifespan than non-smokers. The studies and statistics indicate smokers usually die off sooner because of heart disease and cancer. Smoking is a very dangerous hazard to your health. Smokers are a much more dangerous risk than people who do not use tobacco products.

Q: Where should I begin looking for the best life insurance quotes for smokers? I want the very best rates I could get.

A: Activate the quote engine on the right side of this page. All the best life insurance quotes for smokers will be displayed side by side instantly. The rates are all up to date and accurate to the penny.

Nicotine remains in your system much longer than you think! Sometimes over one year or more.

Q: How long does Nicotine usually stay in my system and remain detectable by an exam?

A: With the high-tech testing of today, some medical experts claim it can be found over one year. Conventional testing used to be limited to Blood, Urine, and Saliva test results.

Q: If I quit smoking after some time, can the smoker rate on my existing policy be removed?

A: Normally the answer will be yes with some companies. This will all depend on the company you have your current policy with. Some companies will require you to be smoke-free for a minimum of sixth months. 
Other companies will require you to be smoke-free for one year or more. Most of the time you will be required to take a blood, saliva, or urine test to prove you quit smoking. This period can be based on the type of tobacco used.

Q: What does the rating “Preferred-Tobacco mean?

A: A rating of Preferred-Tobacco means that you are a very healthy risk but you occasionally use tobacco products on a very limited basis.


Marijuana smoking and your rates

Smoking Marijuana can be looked at from several points of view depending on the best life insurance companies. Some of the insurers will add a smoker rate and some will not. Smoking Marijuana can give the same dangerous effects as tobacco does. Even though Marijuana is not a tobacco product, it can still damage your heart and lungs at any time. Marijuana smokers apply for life insurance every day and a good agent will simply place them with the most appropriate life insurance company.

If minimal Marijuana is used, there may be no extra cost at all to a low-cost term life insurance policy. If everyday Marijuana use exists, a smoker rate will be applied and possibly a decline if the Marijuana use is heavy.


Who has the best term life insurance rates for smokers?

No one company always has the lowest rates. It always depends on several underwriting factors. Choosing the best life insurance company can save you hundreds if not thousands throughout the years you are paying premiums. Your very first step is to locate an independent insurance agent that specializes in life insurance. You will want to make sure they have full access to virtually any companies rates. Make sure to cover all your bases so you can choose the company with the best rates. 

As I mentioned, no one company will always be the best. Call us for a free medical prescreen and we can see what carriers would offer you the lowest rates. How any specific company is going to react to tobacco use can change over time through the years. Most life insurance companies underwriting criteria can change from one year to another. This has a lot to do with how competitive they are in the market. Run our instant quoting system and find out what companies will offer you the best life insurance quotes for smokers.


Occasional smokers can receive non-smokers rates

If you are what the industry refers to as a “social smoker” and you only smoke once or twice a month. You may qualify for non-smoker rates with some of the carriers. This is also going to depend on the specific life insurance company you are applying with. You also must test negative for Nicotine for this to happen with a few of the companies. If you show positive for Nicotine you will not always be given the non-smokers rates. At present two companies will allow this.


A smokers rate does not always apply to cigar smokers

This again will depend on the company you decide to apply with. Several companies will give cigar smokers a non-smoker rate. This can also depend on how many cigars you smoke per month or per year. Some people do not inhale cigar smoke which will, in turn, reduce the risk a little. You can always be inflicted with mouth Cancer from just holding a cigar in your mouth. Cigars can be just as dangerous to your health as cigarettes if you smoke enough and inhale the potent unfiltered smoke.


Take a look at the tobacco industry in general and the addiction to their products

According to the informative Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in the year 2017. There was an estimated 16.4%  of Americans still smoking cigarettes. That breaks down to over 44.2 billion people using cigarette-type tobacco in this country. That breaks down to over 280 billion cigarettes purchased.

The revenue coming from cigarette purchases exceeds 700 billion dollars. The medical profession estimates over 300 billion dollars have been spent in one year for tobacco-related diseases. People continue to smoke no matter what. If it drains their wallet or damages their lungs they continue to smoke. There are a good number of people with Cancer, Emphysema, COPD, and other smoking-related diseases that continue to smoke every day. 


Do e-cigarettes (vaping) affect life insurance rates?

You bet they do! Electronic cigarettes are also known as E-Cigarettes or vaping put nicotine into their user’s lungs every time they are used. That is not just some harmless vapor that comes out of those mouthpieces. E-Cigarettes can increase your premiums easily by another 50%. This is still considered smoking in the life insurance industry.

Some of the companies will allow E-Cigarettes users to receive non-smokers rates as long as they have not smoked conventional cigarettes within the past 12 months. But, the amount of vaping must be limited to a specific degree. E-cigarettes have grown into a multibillion-dollar industry in the United States alone. 


Companies with some of the lowest rates for cigarette smokers

We will look at some sample rates for a 30-year-old male who is purchasing a 20-year term policy with a face amount of $250,000. This individual is in great health but he smokes two packs of cigarettes a day. His health rate class is “Preferred Smoker”. We can see how each company compares with its rates.

  • Banner Life – $462.49
  • Transamerica – $462.50
  • North American – $495.00
  • American National – $495.00
  • John Hancock – $512.00
  • AIG American General – $516.50
  • Prudential – $517.50
  • SBLI – $535.88
  • Lincoln National – $550.00
  • Principal National – $582.29
  • Foresters Financial – $590.00
  • Nationwide – $607.50
  • Fidelity Life – $607.50
  • Mutual of Omaha – $645.00

Choosing the right carrier can save you thousands

From looking at the above list of companies, there can be quite a bit of difference in premiums for the same plan design. The lowest premium was $462.49 and the highest premium was $645.00. That is a difference of $182.51 per year. Since this is a 20-year term policy, if you multiply the $182.51 by 20 years you will have a total of $3,650.20 over the 20 years.


How do medical conditions affect a smoker?

If you add medical conditions to a smoker application it can be worse than if the applicant was a non-smoker. Health conditions such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and being overweight or obese go hand in hand with smoking. Smoking magnifies health conditions that could cause heart and other internal organ failures. Just being overweight with high blood pressure and smoking cigarettes is a recipe for a heart attack or stroke.

Anyone who has a list of medical problems and still smokes sets a poor example to the insurance companies. The insurers like to see a simple attempt to preserve your health. Many health problems cannot be eliminated but smoking can be, just make the choice to stop.


Where does chewing tobacco fit in?

Chewing tobacco just like cigarettes or cigars puts Nicotine into the user’s body and gives the same indications as cigarettes on a medical exam. Even though it does not have all of the dangers of cigarettes.

It can still cause medical problems such as mouth Cancer or Cancer of the throat. You could go from a tobacco rate to a non-tobacco rate very easily depending on the company you are using.

Chewing tobacco or using snuff for 30 minutes, has as much nicotine absorption in the human body as smoking three or more cigarettes!


No Medical Exam Life Insurance for smokers

No Medical Exam life insurance can always be a good choice but remember you will still be classified as a smoker. Purchasing life insurance will speed up the application progress to possibly 24-48 hours. You can still get some of the best life insurance rates with no medical exam.

If you are looking for the absolute lowest premiums, the conventional fully underwritten policies will have the lowest cost. You can give No Medical Exam life insurance a try, there is no cost to apply. If your final decision is not to your liking you can always reapply to another company.


Activate our quoting system to see who has the best life insurance quotes for smokers

Our quote engine will display the best life insurance quotes from over 40 of the most competitive life insurance companies. You will be able to compare low-cost term life insurance specifically for your age, health, and tobacco status. Just complete the basic info on the quoting form and start reviewing the best rates. You can also call us and we will be happy to give you quotes over the phone.


Here is our best tip, quit smoking!

You can apply for your life insurance right now and begin your financial protection for your family immediately. Then you will be able to work on the task of giving up cigarette smoking and live a much longer life. After you quit, you can have the smoker rate removed and you can watch your rates drop like a rock.

All it takes is 6 months to a year to be off the cigarettes and you can enjoy the premium reduction of non-smoker rates. Respiratory illnesses are about the worst form of medical issues to endure. Don’t fall victim to COPD, Lung Cancer, Emphysema, or many other terrible diseases.


In Conclusion

Shopping for life insurance for smokers is a very simple process. We can direct you to the best companies for tobacco users that will offer you the lowest rates in minutes. We use simple and quick telephone applications that take about 15 minutes to apply.

All the best,
Jack Venturi

We are here to help with no cost or obligation. Take a moment to set up a time to discuss your best life insurance options.


Jack Venturi Independent Life Insurance Agent

Jack Venturi

Independent agent and founder of

Jack Venturi has over 30 years of experience selling all forms of individual and commercial insurance including Property & Casualty, Health, Disability and Life insurance. Jack has helped thousands of people all across the United States purchase the best life insurance products at the lowest possible premiums over the phone (800)-897-5699 and online.