Quitting smokers is a major test for smokers. Despite widespread knowledge of tobacco addiction’s negative health effects, many individuals only give up smoking once they’re in the process of detoxification. To help them, the insurance group Axa has just announced the creation of a plan that includes the reimbursement of products dedicated to quitting tobacco. This includes e-cigarettes.
Today, everyone is aware of tobacco’s negative health effects. Unfortunately, the numbers only further prove it. Every day in France for example, 200 deaths can be directly related to smoking or second hand smoking. With almost 32% of smokers in the country, France ranks fourth in the European Union in tobacco consumption.
Currently, France’s National Health Insurance system reimburses certain tobacco substitutes such as patches, nicotine pills, or chewing gum, i.e. up to 150 Euros per year, per smoker. E-cigarettes are not currently reimbursed, even though Social Security began to reimburse the well-known alternative to help quit smoking, Champix, earlier this year. In 2011, the controversial drug was taken off the list of covered medications (it was covered by up to 65%) as a result of major side effects.
Axa commits to fighting tobacco
To fight tobacco, Axa has taken three major steps. First, the insurance company hopes to better communicate the dangers of smoking. In order to do this, Axa has begun to work with SOS addiction. This collaboration includes a practical guide to inform consumers about the multiple health dangers related to tobacco addiction. It is available for free at axaprevention.fr. The insurance company has also decided to stop investing in Big Tobacco.
Axa’s third goal is to financially support its clients who are trying to quit smoking. Additionally, new health insurance contracts are currently being drawn up. This will include a clause covering all forms of tobacco substitutes obtained through prescription, including e-cigarettes.
Axa is not the first insurance company to reimburse e-cigarettes. Various companies, both French and foreign, are already helping smokers in a similar way. Since the beginning of 2016, the British government began considering e-cigarettes as a legitimate medication to serve as a replacement for tobacco nicotine.