You may be able to get lower life insurance premiums when you quit smoking. Use these 5 tips to quit nicotine for good.
Smoking cigarettes or using nicotine products poses health risks. According to the American Heart Association, smoking is the most preventable cause of death in the United States. Nearly one-third of deaths from coronary heart disease are caused by smoking, and smoking is linked to 90% of lung cancer cases in the U.S. These risks can affect how much you pay for a life insurance premium and may affect your ability to get life insurance.
When you apply for life insurance as a smoker, honesty is always the best policy, whether that’s admitting you smoke now or you're stating how long it has been since you quit smoking. Life insurance policies that require a medical exam can reveal nicotine use. You may get denied for lying or be charged with fraud for misleading your life insurer. Your beneficiaries may also be denied benefits or not be paid full benefits if you lied on your life insurance application.
If you want lower life insurance rates, the best thing to do is to quit smoking altogether. If you already have life insurance, you may be able to lower your rates after you quit.
Quitting smoking is challenging for many people, but it is possible and could even save your life. Here are five tips for quitting smoking.
Tips to Quit Smoking
1. Make a Plan
Smokefree.gov suggests creating a personalized quit plan to stop nicotine use. 1 You should choose a day in the next week or two to quit so you can prepare. Setting a date gives you something to work towards and keeps you accountable when you share your quit date with others. Post your quit date where you can regularly see it to reinforce your progress.
Think about what your reasons for quitting are. In addition to lowering your life insurance premiums, you might list reasons like:
- Living a healthier and longer life
- Setting a good example for family and friends
- Creating a smoke-free environment for kids, a spouse and pets
- Improving appearance and scent
You might write these motivations by your quit date to remind you of why you want to stay on track.
2. Visualize the Savings
Motivate yourself to stick to your quit date by envisioning how much money you will save by quitting smoking. Take the amount you typically pay for a pack of cigarettes, and multiply that by how many packs you smoke in a week to see your weekly savings. Then look at how much you canc expect to save in a year, 5 years, 10 years and 20 years by quitting smoking.
Think about fun ways you could use those savings. Maybe you could put them towards a bucket list vacation, or start a college savings plan for your child.
3. Get Help with Texts & Apps
SmokefreeTXT is a free messaging system for adults in the U.S. You fill out a short questionnaire with information like your smoking habits. Then, you’ll receive 3-5 messages per day for up to 6-8 weeks depending on your quit date. The text messages consist of quitting tips and daily challenges.
You can also sign up for a free quit app like QuitGuide or quitSTART. QuitGuide enables you to track cravings, mood and triggers. You can get tips and distractions for dealing with cravings. QuitSTART helps you monitor your progress, manage cravings and stay motivated with inspirations and tips.
4. Avoid Your Triggers
Think about your smoking habits and the typical situations you find yourself in before and during smoking. Do you smoke because you’re bored? Do you usually join a coworker for a smoke break at work? Do you smoke in certain social situations?
Once you’ve identified the environments you typically smoke in and the typical causes for using nicotine, you can avoid or change those environments or your reactions to them. Using the examples above, you could go for a walk instead of smoke when you’re bored. Instead of joining a coworker for a smoke break, use your break to grab a drink of water, or spend time with that coworker at a smoke-free restaurant for lunch instead. If you smoke at parties, skip parties until you quit, or go into a party with a game plan for how you’ll deal with your urge to smoke there.
5. Consider Nicotine Replacement Therapy
When you’re having difficulty quitting on your own, there are smoking medications to help reduce cigarette cravings and withdrawal effects. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, nicotine replacement medications can double the likelihood of permanently quitting smoking.
Nicotine replacement therapy comes in the form of patches, gum, lozenges, nasal sprays and inhalers. You can use nicotine replacement therapy to gradually decrease the amount of nicotine you take in as you move toward quitting fully. If you use nicotine replacement therapy, use it in combination with the methods listed above for better results.
Have Questions About Life Insurance?
Quitting nicotine is good for your health and your life insurance premiums. If you have questions about your premiums or about life insurance in general, contact AIG Direct.