Quitting Smoking and Your Life Insurance Premiums

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When it comes to smoking and life insurance premiums, they don’t mix well. As any smoker can tell you, applying for life insurance with a smoking habit leads to two things: a denial of coverage or, more commonly, very high premiums. 

While these outcomes are common for smokers in the market for life insurance, there are other options available that can get them the coverage they need easier, mainly no medical life insurance plans. But, in the long run, quitting this risky habit will be better for not only your life insurance premiums but your health overall.

Today we are taking a look at the steps you can take to kick the smoking habit. We’ll provide some easy to follow tips and guides to make quitting smoking easier so you’ll have a much smoother experience when it comes time to apply for coverage.

How Does Quitting Smoking Help Lower Life Insurance Premiums

Before we go any further, it is a good idea to understand how insurers generate their premiums and how applying for coverage works. Life insurance is all about risk management for insurance companies. The process of getting insured for traditional life insurance coverage involves undergoing medical exams and health questionnaires to determine how risky you are, according to the insurance companies. 

Both your current and past states of health are taken into consideration, as well as your family’s health history. Insurance companies use this information to determine the cost of your life insurance if you are eligible for coverage. If you have a history of illness in the family and you smoke, you could be facing high premiums if you are able to get insured. 

To avoid increased life insurance premiums, you need to quit smoking. But you can’t just quit right before your application. Typically, you need to be smoke-free for 12 months. Once you reach this milestone, insurers will consider you a non-smoker, and you will be eligible for non-smoking premiums. By kicking the habit, you are less of a risk of developing smoking-related illnesses and therefore less of a risk to life insurance companies. 

So, smoking and life insurance premiums may not mix well, but if you are a smoker, there is still hope of getting life insurance at a comfortable price. The only question is, how do you kick the habit?

Identify Your Smoking Triggers

The first step to make when choosing to quit smoking is to find your triggers. Before quitting, keep a cravings journal and document each time you want to have a smoke. Note the time the carving came up, how intense it was, how you were feeling, and what you were doing. As you lead up to the day when you want to begin quitting, this journal will help identify patterns and common triggers. 

In 2018 alone, the CDC reported upwards of 34 million adult smokers in the US and of that number, more than half have tried to attempt to quit. The report details that more than 7 out of 100 smokers were successful in their attempts to quit smoking. These numbers from the CDC show that although quitting is tough, it is possible; you just need the right method.

By identifying and recording your smoking habits and cravings, you are taking the first step in the right direction to finally quitting for good. The most common instances that trigger the need for a cigarette typically are:

  • Drinking alcohol.
  • Being around other people while they are smoking.
  • After a meal.

Avoid alcohol as you are trying to quit smoking as well as the pressure of being around other smokers as they smoke. Finally, it is common for smokers to want a cigarette after a meal, instead of going for a smoke, have a fruit or other healthy snack to get your mind off of cigarettes. Start with these common instances and triggers if you are having trouble recognizing your smoking triggers.

Nicotine Replacement 

The nicotine inside of cigarettes is the reason people are so dependent on smoking. Nicotine is highly addictive and creates a compulsive dependence on substances that contain the stimulant. This fact is the reason why quitting smoking is so difficult for people. The act of quitting creates a withdrawal that can be extremely hard for people to go through.

Nicotine replacement therapy helps with quitting smoking by providing a low dose of nicotine to your body. This small dosage satisfies your nicotine craving and prevents you from smoking and inhaling the toxic chemicals within cigarettes. You can opt to use nicotine patches, chew nicotine gum, or use nicotine sprays and inhalants to curb your smoking habits. There are plenty of options to choose from, all of which are great alternatives to smoking while easing nicotine withdrawal symptoms like insomnia, mood swings, and nausea. 

Manage Cravings as They Come

Avoiding triggers and using nicotine replacement therapies are helpful when doing your best to quit smoking, but the reality is, you will still face some intense cravings. The first thing you should do when an intense craving hits you is to remind yourself that it will pass. Keep your mind focused on the reality that your desire to smoke will pass and that it doesn’t have control over you. 

Plan for these instances with strategies to help you conquer these cravings if they get too much handle. One of the best ways to quell a smoking urge is to get your body moving. Do any sort of physical activity. It doesn’t have to be high-intensity workouts or exercising with weights or other exercise machines (although these options can work as well); your activity can be as simple as taking a walk or going for a run. If physical activity isn’t for you, try keeping your mind and fingers busy by:

  • Reading.
  • Doing puzzles.
  • Playing video games.
  • Listening to music.
  • Playing an instrument.
  • Drawing or painting. 

Perhaps one of the most important things to do to help with cravings is reward yourself after a triumph. After avoiding the urge to smoke, give yourself a treat or reward yourself with doing something you love. But be careful with how you reward yourself. Giving yourself a treat can be good, but be sure not to replace your smoking addiction with a sugar addiction. In the end, you will begin to associate this reward with overcoming your cravings to smoke, and it will make it easier for you in the future. 

Turn to Family and Friends 

As we’ve mentioned before in this article, quitting smoking is difficult for many people. For some, it may be easier, but that isn’t always the case. Even with the many therapies and strategies available, sometimes nothing helps more than the people that love you most. Family and friends are there for you during both your best and worst times. If you’re on a good streak of being smoke-free, celebrate with your loved ones. If you’ve succumbed to an urge and smoked, your family and friends are a great support system to help get you back on track. 

Cognitive Behaviour Therapy

Meeting with a councillor and talking about your smoking habit is another excellent avenue to help you quit smoking. Cognitive behaviour therapy helps change the way you think and recognize patterns in your thought processes. This form of treatment can involve:

  • Identifying instances of negative thoughts and how to reevaluate them. 
  • Pinpointing unhelpful behaviours found in yourself and others.
  • Building confidence in yourself and rewarding your positive actions and thoughts.
  • Learning problem-solving skills for difficult situations and moments of weakness when trying to overcome cravings. 

Cognitive behavioural therapy helps people recognize that psychological problems are based on unhelpful thoughts and behaviours. For smokers, this therapy helps pinpoint what drives them to smoke and how they can correct those feelings and turn away from the bad habit.

Take Vitamins

Studies have proven that smoking can severely lower the amount of vitamin B and C within your body. With these vitamin deficiencies, you are more likely to continue smoking cigarettes as a coping mechanism. 

Stress from work or school is often cited as a leading factor for why people smoke. While smoking lowers vitamin B within your system, it begins to turn into a vicious cycle, as vitamin B is known to help manage and eliminate stress. So, you become stressed and smoke only to continue feeling stressed later on. Instead of turning to cigarettes, why not take a vitamin B supplement instead? It will help with your stress, and you’ll be avoiding smoking. 

Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps protect our cells from the damage that can come from cigarette smoke. Vitamin C boosts the body’s natural defences and protects us from developing chronic diseases and high blood pressure. Smoking eliminates this vitamin and leaves your body vulnerable to oxidative stress, which is the cause of many chronic illnesses.  By taking vitamin C supplements, you will help your body get stronger by boosting its immune system.

Quitting Smoking & Your Life Insurance Options

Being smoke-free is a journey that takes time and dedication; as with getting a life insurance plan, you do it for the people who matter most to you. Quitting smoking keeps you healthier so you can be with the people you love. Getting insured keeps these loved ones secure even if you are no longer around. 

After you have conquered smoking, among the many benefits you’ll now enjoy is lower life insurance premiums. As we mentioned above, smoking and life insurance premiums don’t mix well; quitting is your best option to save on life insurance. Choose a healthier life and choose lower premiums for yourself. 

When you are ready to look into life insurance, we at Insurance Supermarket Inc are here to help. Take a look at how we are doing things differently when applying for and purchasing life insurance. Feel free to complete our short free quote form to get the process started and begin discovering your coverage options now! 

All the best on your quitting smoking journey!

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