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Using tobacco products like cigarettes is unsafe. However, as per the Global Youth Tobacco Survey, about 14 million youngsters worldwide aged between 13 to 15 years use tobacco products. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has used the World No Tobacco Day, which is observed on 31st May 2022 to highlight the harmful effects of cigarettes and other tobacco products on health.

The theme for the World Tobacco Day in 2022 is Tobacco and Sports do not mix. ‘Tobacco advertising, sponsorship, and promotion should be banned. Tobacco consumption and exposure to second-hand smoke should be prohibited.’ Smoking, which is the most popular way to consume tobacco, is the leading cause of lung and mouth cancer.

It is also the lead cause of mortality relating to TB (tuberculosis) COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease). Many medical studies conducted worldwide have corroborated that people, especially children who are exposed to passive smoking are at high risk of developing diseases like pneumonia, asthma, bronchitis, and other respiratory infections.

The best way to reduce the infection and the respiratory diseases risk is to quit smoking. At the same, it is vital that you purchase robust health insurance.

Smoking and health insurance

It is a common myth among people that finding health insurance for smokers is difficult. But the truth is the IRDA (Insurance Regulatory Development Authority) has mandated the insurance companies in India to offer health insurance plans for smokers. However, you must know that the terms and conditions of the policy may vary from one insurer to another. Also, the insurer will consider you a high-risk customer and charge you a higher premium than others.

Smokers with pre-existing health conditions

If you have any pre-existing health issue like hypertension or diabetes, and irrespective of whether it is related to your smoking habits, the insurance company may ask you to undergo a medical test to know the exact extent of the health issues.
Based on the test results, your age, and other factors, the insurance company will then decide the premium. Additionally, all health insurance policies have a waiting period. If you are a smoker and have pre-existing health complications, the insurer may have a specific waiting period for smokers. It could range from one to four years based on the type of pre-existing condition you have.

What can smokers do to reduce health insurance premium costs?

As a smoker, since you may have a higher premium for health insurance, there are certain things to reduce the premium. Here are a few effective tips.

• Quit smoking

It is a no-brainer that when you quit smoking, you would be less vulnerable to health issues. So, after buying a health insurance policy if you quit smoking and stay clean for at least two years, the insurance company may consider this and reduce the premium accordingly.

Join a quit smoking or rehabilitation program

If you find it challenging to quit smoking on your own, many insurance companies allow you to participate in the smoking cessation program at specific healthcare centres that they have a tie-up with. After joining the program, if you quit smoking for at least two years, the insurer may reduce the premium.

Final Word

Thus, if you have the habit of smoking, you must be ready to pay a higher amount for getting health insurance coverage. However, higher insurance costs must not prevent you from buying a policy. You can buy a policy from Kotak General Insurance; we offer a wide range of policies with several benefits to suit your specific needs.

Disclaimer: The content provided is for education and informational purpose only, none of the information contained in our blog amounts to any form of opinion or advice. Please go through policy related documents carefully or consult an expert before making any insurance-related decisions.


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