Cigar Use: The Impact on Your Heath and Term Life Insurance Policy

Smoking cigars can have a direct impact on your life insurance policy and premiums. The impact of cigar use on term life insurance will vary depending on the company. Most life insurance companies allow recreational cigar use without penalty, as much as one cigar per week without penalty. But the impact of regular cigar us on life insurance rates will make it more expensive than traditional term life insurance policies. Use our free tool below to see how cigars impact the cost of your term life insurance.

Ready to compare quick life insurance quotes?

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Tim is a licensed life insurance agent with 23 years of experience helping people protect their families and businesses with term life insurance. He writes and creates stuff for QuickQuote and other insurance and financial websites.

Full Bio →

Written by

Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right life insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident life insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one life insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our life insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different life insurance companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about life insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything life insurance-related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by life insurance experts.


Tobacco use is the most preventable cause of disease, disability, and death in the US. And despite the strong link between tobacco use and cancer rates, a whopping 46.6 million Americans smoke cigarettes. Here are some of the grim statistics from the National Cancer Institute:

  • Cigarette smoking causes an estimated 443,000 deaths per year.
  • Lung cancer is the leading cause of cancer deaths in men and women in the US.
  • Smokers are up to 6 times more likely to suffer a heart attack than non-smokers.
  • Approximately 20% of high school students are cigarette smokers.

Table of Contents

Cigar Dangers

Many believe cigars provide a ‘safer’ and more socially acceptable alternative to cigarettes. While the later may be true, the fact is cigars might be more toxic than cigarettes. The National Cancer Institute gives these facts about cigars and the associated disease risk:

  • Cigars contain higher levels of cancer-causing substances, tar and of toxins than cigarettes.
  • Cigar use can cause cancers of the esophagus, oral cavity, larynx, lungs, and pancreas.
  • Daily cigar users are at an increased risk of heart disease and other cancers.

Cigar Misnomers

A common misconception among cigar smokers is they are not at risk because they do not inhale the smoke. However, non-inhalers don’t get a free pass as even puffing will expose the entire oral cavity to the toxic chemicals. The saliva will absorb chemicals also, and in turn will be swallowed, exposing the esophagus and digestive tract to the carcinogens. Most of the health risks are directly related to the degree of smoke exposure.

Some of the more dangerous chemicals in cigars include:

  • Nitrosamines
  • Carbon monoxide
  • Hydrocarbons
  • Ammonia
  • Cadmium

While it is true cigarette smokers experience more cancers of the larynx than non-inhaling cigar users, the incidence of oral and esophageal cancers are about the same for both user types.

Regardless, most life insurance companies will allow occasional or recreational cigar use without penalty. Some companies will allow up to one cigar per week without penalty. We recommend you disclose any cigar use to your agent or broker so she can advise you of the best company to apply with.

For more information on cigar use and term life insurance, see our previous blog entry on the subject.

Are you a cigar smoker or do you know one? How do you/they feel about occasional cigar use?

Sources: National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Ready to compare quick life insurance quotes?

Your life insurance quotes are always free.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

QuickQuote is a BBB Accredited Business. BBB