How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System and Urine?

September 13, 2017

Nicotine, the major ingredient of cigarettes, snuff, tobacco, and cigars are made of more than 40,000 chemicals. This component can comprise about 0.6% to 3.0% of the cigarettes’ weight. Thus when you smoke, you will inhale and absorb this amount of nicotine via lungs and liver which can quickly reach brain and blood in about 7 seconds. Nicotine is incredibly addictive, and it’s difficult to quit. Moreover, you may encounter many problems such as sleeplessness, anxiety, irritability, and delusion during your withdrawal. [1]

How long does nicotine last?

When the smoke from tobacco and cigars is inhaled, nicotine will be absorbed into your lungs, liver and sooner it will reach your brain. After that, it can be broken down by the enzymes in the liver to become cotinine. The amount of this product will be proportionate to that of nicotine you absorbed. Eventually, the compounds will be disposed of via your kidneys.

Cotinine, a primary ingredient after nicotine’s break down process has taken place, can stay up in the body for about three months after inhaling. Moreover, the period it remains in your body will depend on the frequency of your nicotine inhalation.

Keep reading the article to figure out how to detect nicotine in your saliva, blood and urine system, and the amount of time it takes to dispose of these substances altogether. If you want to learn more about how long it takes to dispose traces of nicotine.


How long does it take the body to complete dispose of traces of nicotine in your saliva and hair follicles?

The answer is that it might take up to 4 days for nicotine and its broke-down product, cotinine, to be completely discharged from your saliva. The traces of nicotine still can be found in your hair follicles even though your last nicotine exposure was three months ago. Besides, according to the hair test, traces of nicotine still can be detected after one year since your last exposure. Besides, though hair test is available, it seems less common to adopt that test than blood, urine and saliva testing. [2]


Even though there are variances between types of tobacco, cigars or snuff, it is estimated that there are 12 milligrams of nicotine in one cigarette. Moreover, 1 mg of this amount of nicotine will be digested into your bloodstream. And when nicotine has been absorbed by the blood, the amount of nicotine will be measured in nanograms per milliliter.

And do you know that a daily smoker will inhale more than ten ng/mL of nicotine for each time he smokes? Sometimes, the number can reach as high as 500 ng/mL. If you do not smoke regularly, cotinine can be detectable in your urine system for about four days. If you smoke regularly, cotinine still can be found after three weeks.


How long can nicotine still be found in your blood?

It will appear in your blood for several days while its broke-down product, cotinine can be present in your body for about ten days. They either can use the quantitative or qualitative test to detect nicotine in the blood. These types of tests can detect nicotine as well as another breakdown product called anabasine. There may have some false results due to the appearance of thiocyanate; a substance can be found in cabbage, broccoli, and other certain medications.


  1.    Can I find a way to detect nicotine in the system at home?

It is entirely possible to buy saliva or urine tests at the drugstores to check nicotine in your system. These tests will give you either yes or no answer instead of the amount of nicotine stays in your body. Moreover, it is not highly recommended to adopt these tests. It seems reasonable why these tests’ reliability and accuracy are not as highly appreciated as those in doctor’s offices.

  1.    What factors affect how long nicotine detected in your body?

The result might differ from each person even though there are some guidelines for the time nicotine can be detectable in your system. Regarding your circumstances, nicotine might stay longer or be disposed of earlier.  

  1.    Smoking frequency
  2.    People who smoke might be divided into three categories

–    Light users will smoke once per week

–   Moderate users smoke more than once weekly and less than three times weekly

–    Heavy users smoke on a daily basis

According to your smoking behavior, traces of nicotine can be detected from your body within three days of you are a light user, or it still can be found for up to 1 year if you are a heavy user.

  1.    Your lifestyle, genetic and some certain medications

Various factors can affect the time that your body needs to metabolize nicotine and dispose of it like genes, age, liver function, and hormones.

For example,

If you are younger, it will take your body less time to discharge nicotine.

Caucasian and Hispanic are recorded to obtain higher speed to metabolize nicotine than Asian and African.  

It is recorded that women especially those are either pregnant or taking estrogen may metabolize nicotine more quickly than men. Besides, the speed nicotine may differ according to their liver enzymes for each person.

There are some certain medications might affect the rate of your body metabolize nicotine. These medications can accelerate the metabolism of nicotine such as rifampin or phenobarbital. On the other hand, there is some drug can slow down the rate of metabolisms such as amlodipine and hypertension medicine and antifungal like ketoconazole.

  1.    How can you dispose nicotine from your body?

The best way to do this is to quit smoking and abstain from all the tobacco products. Though withdrawal is not easy, by doing this, your body can focus on breaking down nicotine and discharge it via your urine system or sweating. There are several things you may want to do to speed up the process.

Firstly, you can consume more and more water to release nicotine through your urine system. Secondly, doing exercise to signify your metabolism which will increase the speed of disposing of nicotine via sweating is another excellent choice since sweat can take up nicotine and its breakdown products.

Lastly, you can take up more antioxidant food like oranges and carrot to help you signify your system’s metabolism rate. Moreover, these antioxidant – rich food also contain substances like fiber can be very helpful when it comes to disposing toxin caused by nicotine and its breakdown products.

And lastly, you can consume more antioxidant food such as carrots and oranges which can significantly help you boost your system’s metabolism rate. Besides, this food also contain substances such as fiber which can be extremely helpful in disposing toxin caused by nicotine and its byproducts.

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