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Even the American Cancer Society opposed jacked-up premiums for tobacco users. In a position statement, the organization said it has “always been anti-smoking, but never anti-smoker,” and higher premiums could thwart smokers from quitting or obtaining insurance.

One of the selling points of the surcharge was that it might compel people to kick the habit. But that claim is in doubt, since nicotine’s grip is a strong one.

“We know it’s hard for people to quit smoking,” Ms. Lynch said. “It says on the label, ‘This product will kill you,’ but people do it anyway.”