Nothing stays the same. Even the health effects of what we eat and drink seem to be constantly changing, according to the medical profession.And the good news for coffee drinkers is that the most recent research shows at least one cup a day is good for you. This is down to the tannins and antioxidants coffee contains which are thought to be good for the heart and arteries. It is suggested a quick cuppa might even cut the risk of cancer and help prevent degenerative diseases such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s. In fact, the antioxidants in coffee that provide the most benefits are the same as those found in wine, chocolate, fruit and vegetables. The reassurance that something that is probably part of your everyday lifestyle is good for you is great news for us who struggle to maintain a healthy diet. So some about-turns by the medical profession are widely welcomed as they make people feel they are well on their way to a healthier lifestyle without making much effort. But don’t get too excited about what these findings mean when it comes to protection. They are unlikely to lead to cheaper premiums for coffee drinkers. It’s nice to hear a good news story about maintaining our health, but if you succumb to the odd cigarette with your coffee, the health picture for you isn’t such a rosy one. In the wake of World Heart Day, research carried out by Norwegian experts found that regardless of how many cigarettes someone smokes they are still storing up huge health problems for themselves. The results show that smoking just one cigarette a day almost triples someone’s risk of dying of heart disease and lung cancer. Looking specifically at the case of lung cancer, the statistics are even worse for women. The risk is a whopping five times higher for female smokers. This research is an important wake-up call to those who think because they are light smokers they are not damaging their health. The general conclusion is that not smoking at all is the best policy and people should remember that even if they cut down on the number of cigarettes they smoke, they are still subjecting themselves to serious health risks. Unfortunately the research didn’t provide any hard and fast statistics when it comes to so-called social smokers. But the British Medical Association says all smokers are taking health risks regardless of how many times they smoke in a week. The research makes it clear that charging smokers a higher premium for protection is justified regardless of the number of cigarettes they smoke. Your clients should remember that if they smoke, whether this is just on a night out or more regularly, they should be considering the health implications – and remember to disclose this information when they are taking out insurance.