According to PruHealth, 6.5m smokers planned to quit in 2005. Had they done so, they could have saved themselves a £11.9 billion hit to their pockets, significantly increased their quality of life, and saved money on insurance.
Dr Chris Dark, Medical Director at PruHealth says: "Smoking seriously damages your health and wellbeing, as well as your wallet. At PruHealth we reward people for looking after their health through our Vitality programme, in which we award points for healthy activities. The more points you earn, the more of your current year’s premium you could receive back at the end of the year to be used against the following year’s premium."
Non-smokers get 150 points for not smoking. For those who want to stop, PruHealth offers 150 reward points for attending the Allen Carr’s Easyway to Stop Smoking Clinic. PruHealth members can attend this clinic for the reduced price of £100.
Recent statistics have shown that smoking is the single greatest cause of illness and premature death in England, killing an estimated 83,200 people a year as well as making smokers more susceptible to cardiovascular diseases and a third of all cancers. Also, a 20-a-day habit can cost as much as £1,825 a year.
A study has shown that an overweight, unfit male smoker aged 50 would only have a 56 per cent chance of surviving until he was 65. By giving up smoking alone, this age-expectancy would increase by 15 per cent to 71 per cent. Getting active and losing weight would increase his chances of survival further.
With the introduction of a ban on smoking in all pubs and clubs throughout England set to take effect next year, and with a total ban beginning in Scotland in March, it is a good time to quit.
Private medical insurance : News update: March 2006