If you are a smoker/tobacco user you will automatically pay a substantially higher life premium than a non-smoker/non-tobacco user would. The good news is that you can get a non-smoker or even preferred rating if you stop using tobacco for at least 12 months. Most companies will allow you to qualify for this rating at that point.
Obviously, smoking opens the door for all sorts of health risks and the insurance company is very focused on that. Not only smoking, but any form of tobacco use like a pipe or smokeless. It also negatively effects return of premium (ROP) policies as much more premium must be paid. ROP’s tend to be a better fit for clients that are younger and non-tobacco. If you don’t have insurance, I would certainly not wait until you have reached 12 months with no use. This is a risky proposition as you could be uninsurable at that point. I recommend to my clients that are quitting to get the protection in place and then we will re-underwrite once they hit that point.
One company that has a favorable treatment of smokers is John Hancock. They have a Universal life product that you can qualify for as a non-tobacco user in the first 12 months. The stipulation is that you must submit to a medical at the end of two years, to prove that you are still tobacco free. You can visit Hancock online at www.johnhancock.com to read more about this policy type.