Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have caused quite the stir for the couple of decades that they have been in existence. In fact, there has been no end to debate on whether they are a healthy and risk-free alternative to smoking tobacco versus whether they are detrimental to health and will eventually lead to the cancer and heart disease that we typically associate with long-term smoking.
And although the Canadian Government legalized e-cigarettes in 2018, new and frightening concerns emerged in 2019 when several dozen people in North America died and more than two thousand people sustained respiratory illnesses directly related to vaping. These illnesses and deaths were later linked to non-regulated (black market) products that may have contained harmful toxins.
So, are there real risks to vaping e-cigarettes? Well, the truth is that there are currently no direct links between vaping and illness; but this may be due to the novelty of the e-cigarette. In fact, it can take decades to see the respiratory effects of smoking tobacco, so we will not see the effects of vaping, if any, for a while yet. Today, the consensus within insurance underwriting is that the risk premium for vaping is on par with that for cigarette smoking, but of course, this can change with time and additional knowledge. Stay tuned as we continue to follow this topic.
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