Wealth Tip #26: Kick the Habit… (here’s why)

Author: Stefan Mustieles, www.moneysupermarket.com


Give up smoking

Smoking is a potentially lethal habit. Every year the Government increases the cost of cigarettes to help people to try and kick the habit and put off any young potential smokers. Because of the serious, irreversible health risks smoking can cause, is it any wonder that life insurance premiums are almost double compared to that of non-smokers.

Research from price comparison site Money Supermarket has shown that people who kick the habit could save up to an average of £6,659 on a combined critical illness cover and life cover policy.

Health Benefits

Aside from the amount of money you would save by quitting smoking, obviously there are the numerous health benefits that will come to both you and your loved ones. Here are the top ten.

  1. A longer life – Its never too late to quit smoking. According to the NHS website, men who quit smoking at the age of 30 will add ten years to their life, whilst quitting at 60 will only add three years to your life.
  2. Healthier teeth – Tobacco stains the teeth, so by giving up not only will you have fresher breath but you will also have whiter teeth. Also you will be less susceptible to gum disease and premature loss of teeth.
  3. Lower stress levels – Whilst most smokers will tell you that a cigarette helps them de-stress, it is only the pleasant feeling of the craving being satisfied which lasts only a small amount of time. Studies have shown that without the nicotine stress levels are lower.
  4. Younger looking skin – Smoking can increase the skins ageing process. For people who don’t smoke the skin gets more nutrients and oxygen which can lead to younger, glowing looking skin.
  5. Increased energy – As any smoker will know, walking up the stairs can leave them out of breath let alone a stroll in the park. Quitting smoking now will make all physical activity much easier.
  6. Better sex – After quitting smoking, the bloods circulation improves greatly. This can lead to men getting better erections and women finding their orgasms improving.
  7. Improved fertility – If you are looking to start a family there is no better reason to stop smoking. It will help a couple conceive by the sperm being stronger and improving the lining of the womb, additionally it will improve the chances of giving birth to a healthier baby.
  8. Senses boost – After quitting smoking you will soon find that your sense of smell and taste will vastly improve.
  9. Improved breathing – After nine months off the cigarettes your lung capacity can improve by up to 10%. It will improve your breathing and you will find that you cough less as a result.

  10. Healthier family and friends – Passive smoking is just as dangerous as smoking itself. You will be improving the health of your family and friends by not exposing them to the harmful toxins contained within cigarettes.

The Maths on the Savings you could make…

30-year-old male, £150,000 over 25 years for critical illness & life cover (CIC + TPD Own Occupation Only)

Provider Monthly premium smoker Total premium over 25 years Monthly premium non-smoker Total premium over 25 years Savings per month by not smoking Savings for term by not smoking
Aviva £54.50 £16,350 £32.45 £9,735 £22.05 £6,615
Legal & General £54.98 £16,494 £32.53 £9,759 £22.45 £6,735
AXA £53.98 £16,194 £32.83 £9,849 £21.15 £6,345
AEGON Scottish Equitable £55.20 £16,560 £32.87 £9,861 £22.33 £6,699
Zurich £57.22 £17,166 £34.22 £10,266 £23.00 £6,900
Average £55.18 £16,553 £32.98 £9,894 £22.20 £6,659

30-year-old female, £150,000 over 25 years for critical illness & life cover (CIC + TPD Own Occupation Only)

Provider Monthly premium smoker Total premium over 25 years Monthly premium non-smoker Total premium over 25 years Savings per month by not smoking Savings for term by not smoking
Aviva £44.30 £13,290 £32.45 £9,735 £11.85 £3,555
AXA £44.17 £13,251 £33.36 £10,008 £10.81 £3,243
AEGON Scottish Equitable £44.87 £13,461 £33.41 £10,023 £11.46 £3,438
Scottish Provident £46.62 £13,986 £34.46 £10,338 £12.16 £3,648
Zurich £46.22 £13,866 £34.51 £10,353 £11.71 £3,513
Average £45.24 £13,570.80 £33.64 £10,091.40 £11.60 £3,479

On top of that smokers could save an extra £1,846 per year by not having to buy cigarettes any more.

“Not only can smokers reap the medical benefits by kicking the habit, but they can avoid letting their hard-earned cash go up in smoke too.” said Emma Walker, head of protection at the price comparison site. “

Twelve months abstinence

A combined life insurance and critical illness policy is essential in the event that we were to succumb to a serious illness where we were unable to provide for our loved ones, or even worse were not around anymore to support them.

Whether you are a twenty-a-day smoker or just a ‘social’ smoker, in the eyes of the insurer you will be assessed as a smoker.

A smoker would expect to pay nearly double the premium of a non-smoker. These savings can still be realised though if, as a smoker you have the determination to quit.

Depending on the provider, it can take up to twelve months abstinence to be classed as a non-smoker. Emma continued “Insurers will insist smokers have kicked the habit for a full year in order to be classed as a ‘non-smoker’ and qualify for life insurance premium savings. With considerable savings to be made, smokers will hopefully find the willpower to permanently kick the habit, benefiting their health and their wallets.”

Lying about smoking is really not worth the risk. If you were to fall victim to a smoking related illness such as cancer then insurers will be able to see from your medical records that you lied on your application and you could be left without a penny.

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