Increased Vape Use May Lead to Rise in Insurance Premiums
New York enjoyed some good news recently around health and smoking. But other statistics show both health and economic problems coming from a different trend.
Vaping is the new fast-growing trend, with vape use rising as smoking rates fall.
New Yorkers gave up smoking at a faster rate than any other state in the nation over a decade with a nearly 29% decline in smoking rates. That has obvious health implications and was part of a record drop of 2.2% in cancer deaths in 2017 — the biggest ever on record. But those in the health and insurance markets see the rise in vaping as a growing health problem that Quote Wizard analyst Adam Johnson sees as a growing concern.
"Given the recent news about vaping - nationwide there's been 55 vaping-related deaths in the last year... What we are going to see is as these youth that are opting to vape... you're going to see a higher rate of vapers coming in to the insurance market."
Johnson works on health trends and their impacts on insurance costs. He notes that insurance companies are not going to ignore the health impacts of vaping and may well impose the same hike in rates smokers pay – up to 50% higher premiums. Certainly the drop in smoking in New York is good news, since the link to health problems and cancer deaths is well known.
"There is some good news that the CDC reported that cigarette smoking has reached an all-time low of 13% in 2018... and the American Cancer Society reported a 2.2% drop in cancer deaths in 2017... really attributed to the drop in lung cancer deaths."
Johnson says the impacts on health from vaping are not as well known yet.
Policy and Regulation
Given the health and economic fallout, Johnson can also see policies, regulations and costs reacting.
"Nationwide, they're raising the age limit to 21 for purchace of tobacco products, which includes vaping products. A number of states are looking to ban flavored vaping, which tends... to be what kids are attracted to. In the coming years, given that we are seeing deaths around it, I could almost expect more regulation to be handed down."
Gov. Andrew Cuomo has already banned flavored vaping products in New York State, with the ban going into place in October 2019. The move has already seen significant push back from the community, and while the ban has been passed, it is currently not in effect due to pending litigation.
Johnson's conclusion on the CDC statistics is that the smoking decline is good, but the rise in and switch to vaping will have health, policy and economic implications – including a jump in your insurance costs if you choose e-cigarette products.