As you are aware, vaping has been at the center of the news over the past few months and linked to a few deaths and multiple illnesses. There have been warnings from the FDA, federal government and some states banning the use of flavored e-cigarettes. Prudential took a stand a few years ago when e-cigarettes started gaining popularity to treat them similar to the way we assess the use of cigars, pipes, chewing tobacco, etc. We have treated e-cigarette users as non-smokers and offered Non-Smoker Plus as our best class. At that time, we decided to move forward and keep a close eye on it.
With the recent attention, it is time for us to change and classify e-cigarette vaping as a smoker and reduce the overall risk exposure to the company. Effective with applications dated 10/21/2019 and later, users of e-cigarettes will be treated as smokers and be treated the same as our cigarette smoking guidelines. We will honor any application that has already been written prior to that date and will continue to consider those applicants as non-smokers.