National No Smoking Day
National No Smoking Day is an annual event designed to help smokers who want to quit. This year the campaign’s theme is be “Covid Quitters”. The link to Covid recognises that anxiety means that smokers may smoke more than usual.
The campaign has been run by a charity that is now part of the British Heart Foundation. It is funded partly by charity and partly by the Government.
It is not surprising to see Government involvement. The burden on the NHS has concentrated in recent months, on Covid. But the burden it bears as a result of smoking is not so well known. But it is significant.
Smoking is described by the Office of National Statistics, as “a leading cause of preventable death in the UK”. Astonishingly, it states that “Between 2016 and 2018, 77,600 deaths were attributable to smoking per year in England” alone. In the same period, it is estimated that more than 500,000 hospital admissions were attributable to smoking. For the above data click here.
Against this background it is not surprising that underwriters continue to take a very cautious view concerning applicants for Life Assurance who smoke. In cases involving respiratory conditions and cancer it will reduce the availability of cover even from a specialist insurer such as Pulse. It will certainly increase the rate, probably doubling it.
But there is good news in this story, in that smoking is nationally reducing year by year. Education and Awareness Days such as National No Smoking Day are of key importance in this achievement.
Vaping is also playing its part in the reduction of smoking. But underwriters continue to take a cautious view on vaping and throughout the industry it is classed as smoking and will attract smoker rates. You can read our previous post on e-cigarettes here.
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