Tobacco use: Where to draw the line?

Under Obamacare, who even counts as a tobacco user?

By Sarah Kliff , Updated: February 19, 2013

There’s a big debate happening in the states right now over whether to allow insurance companies to charge tobacco users a 50 percent premium surcharge under Obamacare — you can read more about that in my story in today’s paper.

There’s an equally important debate happening here in Washington, one that I wasn’t able to spend much time on in that article: Figuring out who counts as a tobacco user in the first place. A smoker who goes through a pack a day likely fits the bill, but what about one who only smokes the occasional cigarette in the bar? The person making a quit attempt? The user of e-cigarettes?

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