Many smokers switch to electronic cigarettes (e-cigs) as an alternative to smoking tobacco.
However, since there isn’t much research on vaping and its long-term health effects, most major life insurance companies consider vape users riskier to insure than non-users.
Insurers generally treat vaping the same as smoking when determining how much you’ll pay for a policy. E-cigarette users can still buy life insurance, but they’ll pay two to three times more for coverage than their non-smoking peers regardless of the substance.
How does vaping affect your life insurance premiums?
When you apply for life insurance, you’ll go through underwriting and the insurance company will set your premiums. The fewer health conditions you have, the lower your premiums will be.
Most insurers classify e-cig use as tobacco use because vape juice often contains nicotine, which providers test for during the medical exam. Tobacco users receive a separate health classification after underwriting, which translates into a costlier policy.
Below are monthly premiums for non-smokers vs. smokers buying the same term life insurance policy.
If you vape marijuana, you may not qualify for the lowest smoker rates with some insurers. A Policygenius agent can help you compare quotes to find the right policy for your vaping history.
→ See the best life insurance companies for smokers
Why is vaping treated like smoking by life insurers?
In addition to the nicotine use associated with vaping, there’s less data available on the health impacts of vaping than the effects of cigarette use.  The industry is also much less regulated than tobacco sales.
"Life insurance companies are very risk-averse. If there’s a particular area in the medical field with a lot of uncertainty, most will err on the side of caution,” says Patrick Hanzel, certified financial planner and advanced planning manager at Policygenius.
There can be harmful chemicals in your vape device that might have negative side effects on your health — the metal used in the coil or the chemicals in the juice, for example.
If your vape or its modifications were made in a place with less quality control, you could inhale harmful substances. 
If you want to avoid being classified as a smoker and keep your premiums low, you need to quit vaping long before you apply for life insurance.
Insurers want you to be completely tobacco- and vape-free for a set period — usually 12 months but sometimes up to five years — before they’ll offer you non-smoker rates.
Why do you need to be honest about your vaping history?
Any substance you vape can show up during your medical exam or in your health history.
If you misrepresent your e-cig use and die during the policy’s contestability period, your insurance company can refuse to pay the death benefit to your beneficiaries, leaving them without financial protection.
Most policies also allow insurers to deny the death benefit due to misrepresentations even if you die after the contestability period ends.
If the life insurance company does choose to pay out, it may reduce the death benefit payout by the amount you would’ve paid in premiums had you disclosed your vaping habit. The penalties for lying apply regardless of the cause of death.
While you’ll probably pay more for life insurance if you smoke or vape, you’ll still be able to get the financial protection you need.
Whether you plan to quit or not, an independent insurance broker like Policygenius can help you find the right coverage.
Other health concerns that can affect your life insurance
Certain pre-existing conditions and other health-related concerns can affect your life insurance options or costs. A Policygenius expert can help you find the right policy for your needs.
Mental health issues such as depression or anxiety
Frequently asked questions
Does vaping affect life insurance?
Yes. Most life insurance providers treat e-cigarette users like smokers, so you’ll pay two to three times more than non-smokers unless you quit vaping for at least 12 months or more.
What happens if you lie about vaping on your life insurance application?
If your medical exam doesn’t reveal vape use and you withhold the information, your life insurance company could cancel your policy or deny the death benefit to your beneficiaries.
Can you be denied life insurance for vaping?
It’s unlikely you’ll be denied life insurance for vaping. In very rare cases, a few insurers decline applicants who vape marijuana.