Smoking, Vaping & Life Insurance Infographic (2018)

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The continued decline in the number of UK smokers

Office of National Statistics (ONS) data on UK smokers

In recent years, data compiled by the Office of National Statistics (ONS) has shown a marked reduction in the number of people that smoke in the UK.

“In 2016, the proportion of current smokers in the UK was 15.8%, which equates to around 7.6 million in the population, a statistically significant decline of more than 4% points since 2010.”[1] – (source:

In fact, there has been a steady decline in smoking’s popularity, since the smoking ban was introduced on 1st July 2007,  as a result of the ‘Health Act 2006[2].

“According to Cancer Research UK there are now 1.9 million fewer smokers in Britain compared with when the smoking ban was introduced – the lowest smoking rates ever recorded in Britain. But nearly 3 million Britons are now vaping.”[3] – (source:

This welcomed reduction in UK smokers has been most prevalent among young adults.

“Those aged 18 to 24 in the UK experienced the largest decline in smoking prevalence of 6.5% points since 2010.”[1]

The rise of e-cigarettes

Vaping has become extremely popular in the UKOver recent years, while there has been a steady reduction in the number of UK smokers, the nicotine replacement market has exploded.

What with chewing gum, patches, nasal sprays and perhaps most significantly e-cigarettes, there’s a wealth of nicotine replacement products available. These are seen by many as a necessary stepping stone to quitting traditional cigarettes.

“Vaping is now a £1billion industry in the UK, and the market is still growing”[4] (source: and is “on course to exceed £2bn by 2020”[3].

There are approximately “2.4 million current e-cigarette users, representing around 5% of adults”[5]. – (source:

For the 1st time since records began, there are more ex-smokers (1.5 million) who use e-cigarettes than current smokers (1.3 million)[10].

As younger people have moved away from smoking they have moved towards alternative products. The prevalence of vapers amongst 16 – 24-year-olds increased from 2% in 2015 to 6% in 2016.[5]

Did you know that you have to give up smoking and be free of any nicotine replacement products for a minimum of 12 months for insurers to classify you as a non-smoker?

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The spiralling cost of smoking

The cost of cigarettes since 1987

If you are a smoker in the UK you’ll probably be well aware of how expensive a habit smoking has become.

In 1987, the average pack of 20-cigarettes cost just £1.43, then £2.94 in 1997, which rose to £5.02 in 2007, before reaching a staggering £9.54 in 2017[6]……….and it’s showing no sign of slowing down either.

According to an NHS report in 2016, “tobacco was 27% less affordable than it was in 2006”[5].

As well as severely damaging your bank balance, smoking on average is likely to shave appropriately 10 years off your life expectancy.[7]

So, why not make 2018 the year you quit smoking for good?

Did you know that over 80% of the cost of cigarettes is made up of tax? Isn’t it time you stopped paying all that money to the tax man?[11]

The impact on life insurance premiums

Young coupleAs we know insurance providers treat smokers differently because statistically, they are more likely to make claim. To cover this increased risk they charge higher premiums, compared with non-smokers with similar protection.

SunLife suggests smokers could pay as much as 75% more on their monthly life insurance premiums[8].

Research published on MoneySavingExpert[9] suggests this increase is even higher, at 96% for a fixed term £200,000 policy over 20 years! (£6,960 for a smoker vs £3,552 for a non-smoker, based on a 40-year old).

But are you aware that insurers still classify you as a smoker if you use nicotine replacement products? As a result, your monthly premiums are likely to be the same as that of a cigarette smoker.

Save £1000’s a year + reduce your premiums + (increase your life expectancy)

Woman smoking a cigaretteAs we enter the new year why not take this opportunity to save yourself £1,000’s, reduce your monthly life premiums and increase your life expectancy by giving up smoking.

There has never been a better time to quit; the cost is spiralling, there are numerous replacement products available, online blogs can help you with quitting techniques…….

The average smoker currently smokes 11 cigarettes a day. Which means you spend approximately £1,800 a year. But what if you quit and spent this money elsewhere?

You could protect your family with comprehensive life cover and still have significant funds left over to take a holiday with this saving.

Why not join the growing number of ex-smokers who have taken up vaping? But with a long-term vision to wean yourself off e-cigarettes over a 6-month period.

Insurers don’t treat all smokers or ex-smokers the same – shop around!

Save money on your life insurance premiumRemember, insurance providers employ different underwriting processes and therefore policy quotes can on occasions vary wildly for smokers and ex-smokers.

If you fall into this category, the best way to secure the cheapest quote is to compare multiple policies, or alternatively, use the services of a broker.

If you’re a smoker, we challenge you to give up this year.

Then, after 12 months of feeling fresher and looking better why not challenge us to secure you with a more comprehensive, but cheaper life policy?!


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