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Affordable Life Insurance when You Smoke Cigars or a Pipe

Cigar and pipe smokers

Reviewed By: Rob Pinner

Rob Pinner Rob Pinner is the founder and CEO of Pinner Financial Services servicing all 50 states. Rob started his insurance career in 2002.

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Cigar and pipe smokers face an issue in their efforts select a term insurance policy that will be suitable to their circumstances and needs. Cigars are certainly not the same as cigarettes and most individuals don’t think of it as smoking when you enjoy a cigar or smoke a pipe on occasion. The issue is that life insurers always ask about smoking and most of them typically order a urine test to ascertain if the body has nicotine in your system before they will offer or issue a policy.

In lots of cases, cigar and pipe smokers will find that the life insurance companies employ very tough requirements to qualify as a non-smoker when the applicant has a history of cigar or pipe smoking.

Health Issues associated with Cigar and Pipe Smoking

Even though most cigar and pipe smokers do not inhale and their use is less frequent than a cigarette smoker, health issues along with the nicotine addiction are typically manifested.

WebMD provides significant information regarding these health risks and offers it to the public on their website:


Whether you inhale or not, it is possible to develop different kinds of cancer as a result of smoking cigars or smoking a pipe. Individuals who regularly smoke cigars are more likely to die from mouth cancers, larynx cancer, or cancer of the esophagus.  Unfortunately for smokers, oral cancers can flourish in any place to cigar or pipe smoke touches.  For smokers who inhale, likewise increase the risk of lung cancer, pancreatic cancer, and bladder cancer.

Lung Diseases

Pipe smoking and smoking cigars can double the smoker’s risk for damage to the airway which typically results in lung disease that can include chronic bronchitis and emphysema. Smoking tobacco products can also exacerbate existing asthma.

Heart Disease


When people smoke pipes or cigars, there is a substantial chance of developing heart disease or the chance of stroke. It’s also been documented that smoking tobacco can increase the risk of an early death from heart disease by at least 30%.

Teeth and Mouth Issues

Anyone who smokes tobacco takes the chance of having damaged teeth and damage to the mouth. Smoking tobacco can also contribute to diseased gums, tobacco-stained teeth, tobacco breath, and possible tooth loss. A study that was recently published indicated that cigar and pipe smokers on average, have four missing teeth as a result of their smoking.


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Life Insurance and Cigar or Pipe Smoking

Unfortunately, most insurers are all over the place when it comes to underwriting for cigar and pipe smokers. With most, however, how often you partake in each particular vice comes into play when they assign a rate class. There are some companies that offer much better rates than others for cigar and pipe smokers and we are happy to offer our favorite players below:

American General

American General is one of the few insurers that will offer a Preferred Plus rating with the caveat that you only smoke one cigar per week and that you haven’t smoked cigarettes for at least five years.

Banner Life

Banner is a little more liberal than American General because they offer several cost-saving scenarios. Banner life is also great for life insurance with diabetes.  They do however frown upon smoking and diabetics.

  • One cigar or less per month and no cigarettes for 3 years = Preferred Plus
  • No more than one cigar per month and no cigarettes for 2 years = Preferred non-smoker
  • One cigar or less per month and no smoking for 12 months = Standard Plus or Standard non-smoker


Genworth changes things up by offering Preferred Plus for cigar smokers who smoke less than 12 per year.

Protective Life

Protective considers applicants for Preferred Plus rates when the cigar use is less than six annually. They will also consider Preferred rates if you smoke no more than twelve per year.

There is even better news, however. Prudential and Lincoln Financial will offer non-smoker rates as long as you do not smoke cigarettes. Your frequency of smoking cigars or a pipe does not come into play. Neither does chewing tobacco, dip, e-cigarettes, or the patch for that matter.

Lincoln Financial Life Insurance

Lincoln Review

Lincoln Financial is one of those companies that have very competitive rates and have less strict underwriting guidelines compared to the other insurers. Lincoln only considers cigarette smokers as “smoker risks” and all other tobacco users are classified as a non-smoker.

Here are their actual rates for a 20-year $500,000 Term Insurance Policy

Lincoln Financial Cigar and pip rates

It’s important to remember that these rates are based on a non-cigarette smoker who is healthy and fits within the height and weight parameters set forth by the company. It is likely that a medical exam and blood/urine test will be ordered as part of the underwriting process.

Prudential Life Insurance Company

Prudential Logo

Prudential is considered to be the most liberal company regarding tobacco underwriting because they will offer a preferred or preferred plus rate class for applicants who use smokeless tobacco and meet other underwriting criteria.  Always check with all of the companies and use a reputable life insurance brokerage.

Here are their actual rates for a 20-year $500,000 Term Insurance Policy

Prudential Life rate chart

For accurate rates based on your actual age, please use the quote engine in the page margin. You can also contact our insurance professionals at 1-800-712-8519 for further details and get answers to any questions you have regarding your life insurance needs.

Understanding the Underwriting Process

All of the terms insurers that offer the most affordable rates are likely to have you go through an underwriting process that is similar with most insurance companies. Most of the companies that offer an accelerated underwriting process (no medical exam) will still require exams and labs.  The underwriting process will likely include:

  1. Completing the life insurance application
  2. Submitting to an insurance exam and blood and urine test
  3. Agreeing to a report that is retrieved from the Medical Information Bureau
  4. Agreeing to a report that is retrieved from a national prescription drug database
  5. Agreeing to a Motor Vehicle Report that is retrieved a national database
  6. Other requirements may be necessary depending on your death benefit and purpose of your insurance policy.
We are Here to Listen and Serve
For more information about life insurance when you smoke cigars or a pipe and to get a free and confidential quote, please call InsuranceQuotes 2Day at 1-800-712-8519 during normal business hours or contact us through our website at your convenience.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I get life insurance if I smoke the occasional cigar?

Unfortunately, most insurers are all over the place when it comes to underwriting for cigar and pipe smokers. With most, however, how often you partake in each particular vice comes into play when they assign a rate class. There are some companies that offer much better rates than others for cigar and pipe smokers.

Which companies will sell life insurance to a cigar or pipe smoker?

American General, Banner, Lincoln, Protective Life and Prudential are some of the carriers that will offer more affordable life insurance to cigar or pipe smokers. An independent life insurance agent can help you determine which carrier will work best for you.

Why is harder to get life insurance if you smoke cigars or a pipe?

Cigar and pipe users can develop health issues such as cancer, heart disease, lung disease, or mouth and teeth issues. While you may pay a higher premium, there are options. Check with a licensed independent agent to learn more.

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