E-cigarettes: Hazard or help?

E-cigarettes: Hazard or help?


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Speaker: Sam Gutterman

Speaker(s): Sam Gutterman

A significant global debate has arisen regarding the relationship between benefits and harm that results in the use of e-cigarettes. E-cigarettes, which came on the scene in many countries beginning in 2006, are made up of chemicals, one or more flavorings and a range of concentration of nicotine, which can be addictive.

In some countries e-cigarettes have been effectively used to help to reduce individual's addiction to tobacco smoking (which in many countries has been the leading preventable health hazard), while in others they have attracted young people to smoking. Less harmful healthwise than tobacco smoking, the expected effects of e-cigarettes remain controversial, as there has not been sufficient experience to study its long-term effects. This paper discusses the sources of disagreement and reactions from regulators and life insurers. It summarizes the current research on this subject and national reactions to this phenomena.

Especially relating the life and health insurance, actuaries have to assess whether to treat those who use e-cigarettes in a manner similar to those who smoke tobacco cigarettes or differently. As a result, they should be aware of the current knowledge regarding the use of e-cigarettes.

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