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Less smoking likely to produce better life insurance rates

Posted On Mon, September 14, 2009

New York may become the latest city to adopt strict policies regulating outdoor smoking, although one long-term benefit for residents may be better life insurance rates.

That's because many insurance companies charge higher rates for smokers, who are often required to take a physical before a policy goes into effect.

A report on the New York Times website notes that Chicago and Los Angeles have already passed laws regulating outdoor smoking in places like parks and beaches, and that the entire state of California may be next to adopt such measures.

This week, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg indicated that he wants to bring the area's smoking rate down to 12 percent, in part through regulations that would ban smoking at the city's beaches and parks.

A report in Bloomberg News says that the New York City smoking rate was 21.5 percent in 2002, and fell to 16.9 percent in 2007. Along with saving money and improving their health, cheaper life insurance policies will be a reward for those who decide to quit smoking.

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