Wal-Mart is the latest among a growing number of companies who have begun charging employees higher health benefit premiums if they use electronic cigarettes, according to a report by Modern Healthcare.
Wal-Mart considers vapers as smokers too, so employees who use e-cigs are asked to pay more for their health plans compared to what nonsmokers are usually charged with. This was confirmed by company spokesman Randy Hargrove although he declined to say how much more ecig users have to pay. If you are a vapor paying more money than your supposed to use the V2 ecigs coupon to save on your ecigs. The V2 cigs coupon code will help you out.
Modern Healthcare said some smoking employees might have to pay up to $2,000 extra per year to participate in company health plans.
Wal-Mart employs more than 48,000 people in about 172 retail operations and four distribution centers in the state of Ohio alone.
“Employers that have such policies on e-cigarettes, including Wal-Mart, generally offer exemptions from the surcharge if workers participate in smoking cessation programs, but switching to e-cigarettes is not considered by these firms as participation in such programs,” Modern Healthcare said in its report.
United Parcel Service (UPS) plans to begin charging a monthly fee of $150 next year for employees who smoke cigarettes, both analog and electronic. Spokeswoman Ivette Lopez said: “FDA testing has determined that various samples (of e-cigarettes) have carcinogens and other toxic chemicals. They’re just not proven to be safe.”
The number of employers that added a monthly surcharge on premium contributions for workers who smoke increased from 35 percent in 2012 to 42 percent last year, according to data from benefits consultant firm Towers Watson and the National Business Group on Health. That analysis projected the number to rise to 62 percent by 2014.
“E-cigarettes have not been tested for safety,” said Michael Wood, a Tower Watson senior consultant. “Nobody knows what the ingredients really are, and they have not been approved as a recognized and safe method for cessation like nicotine replacement therapy patches have or nicotine gum.”