How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System

How long does nicotine stay in your system

The nicotine addicts often ask this question that how long nicotine stays in their system? Well, the answer is the stay of nicotine varies with different body organs and it can be measured by performing few detection tests that shall be discussed in the subsection.

Nicotine- Highly Addictive Drug

Most of us are familiar with nicotine as it is the highly abused drug. The origin of nicotine is Nicotiana tobacum. People ingest, sniff and inject it into the blood to seek pleasure. Even a small dose of 1mg can excite the nervous system and produces the following effects as mentioned in the picture below:

side effects of nicotine

On the other hand, nicotine is the main constituent found in tobacco and the products made from it. So if people are ready to take a step of quitting it then they must prepare their selves for the withdrawal symptoms:

Withdrawal Symptom How Long They Last
Cravings 2 Weeks
Increase Appetite 10 Weeks
Depression 4 Weeks
Restlessness 4 Weeks
Disturbed Sleep 1 Week
Poor Concentration 2 Weeks
Irritability / Anger 4 Weeks
Chesty Cough 2 Weeks
Light Headed 2 Days


How long does Nicotine stay in your System or body can be revealed by various tests

When one takes nicotine despite the route, it goes to the lung and metabolizes into the cotinine. This cotinine then goes to different parts like saliva, urine, blood and even hair. Following tests shows that for how long nicotine stay in various parts:

How long does Nicotine stay in your blood?

Every drug that is either taken orally or sniffed will ultimately reach the blood in some time. In the same fashion, nicotine reaches the blood and exerts its action. If you want to know that for how long nicotine stays in your system then it depends on the factor that whether the test carried out is for cotinine or nicotine, since both have variable residence time.  The nicotine stays for about 1 to 3 days in the blood and cotinine stays for about 1 to 10 days in blood after the last use.

How long does Nicotine stay in urine?

Nicotine in urine detectable for the longer time since nicotine takes some time to excrete out from the body completely. Nicotine in urine is detectable for 15 to 20 days. After this time the levels of urine starts to decline in urine as it slowly passes out from the body.

How long does nicotine stay in saliva?

Nicotine stays in saliva for approximately 4 days. So the saliva test for nicotine will give positive results for only 4 days and after that, no nicotine detection will occur.

How long does Nicotine stay in breast milk?

Most of the nicotine addict nursing mothers frequently ask this question that how long does nicotine stay in breast milk? The answer is quite depressing that they have to wait for as long as about 95 minutes before they can breastfeed their baby. In heavy abusers, the nursing mothers should wait for at least 24 hours for the complete removal of nicotine from the milk.

How long does nicotine withdrawal last?

If you are planning on to quit nicotine then you must prepare yourself for the withdrawal symptoms that you have to suffer later on. These symptoms start as soon as after 4 hours of taking the last dose of nicotine and they linger on for months.

effects of stopping smoking or nicotine

Factors affecting the stay of nicotine in body

These are the following factors that will increase or decrease the stay of nicotine in the living system. These factors include:

  • Age factor

As a person grows old, the system functions less properly. It is said, that people above 65 years of age, nicotine leaves the body at a much slower rate. Two reasons behind this age factors lies which are lean body mass and less blood flow in the body.

  • Levels of estrogen

Women are able to clear the nicotine at a much faster rate than males. The highlighted reason is that women have much higher levels of estrogen than males. Estrogen accelerates the function of a metabolizing enzyme which is cytochrome P 2A6. This enzyme accelerates the metabolism of nicotine and thus clears up to 60% of nicotine.

  • Food intake

Taking food immediately after smoking can sweep the nicotine from the body immediately. This is due to the fact that food increases the blood flow to the liver thus enhancing the nicotine metabolism.

  • Renal impaired patients

People suffering from kidney disorders are less likely to clear the nicotine from the body.

  • Time of smoking

People who have a habit of smoking before going to bed are at a greater verge of developing severe health hazards. At night time the body is at a relaxing phase and the blood flow towards various organs is also decreased. So nicotine is cleared at a much slower rate as compared to day time when blood flow is increased.

Mechanism of action of Nicotine

Nicotine exerts its effects in body simply by binding to its receptors that are located in different organs. One of the prominent effects of nicotine is the death of dopaminergic receptors. The mechanism of nicotine is well explained in the diagram pasted below:

view of the potential mechanisms of action of nicotine

How To Clear Nicotine From The Body System

Many people after having nicotine are worried about for carrying out the test because they want to hide the fact that they are nicotine addicts. So following are the food and drinks that will clear the nicotine from the system.

  • Drink water

Eight to ten glass of water every day will help in clearing the nicotine out from the body. Water is a drink for life and it helps to remove all the toxins from the system through the kidney.

  • Dry herbs

Eating dry herbs directly or by mixing them in the meal will reduce the levels of nicotine in the body. These herbs are also rich in certain vitamins like retinol and tocopherol.

  • Drink orange juice

Citrus fruits like oranges are rich in antioxidants. Antioxidants scavenge the harmful toxins and flush them out from the body.

  • Exercise regularly

Another way to get nicotine out of your system fast is by doing the exercise daily. It speeds up the metabolic rate that in turn speeds up the excretion process of nicotine.

 Few Steps You Can Take To Pass Nicotine

These steps will help you to pass the nicotine test via blood and saliva.

  • Legit tests

The first point is that the city or the country of your residence allows the screening of nicotine.

  • Nature of the test

When nicotine goes to the liver it metabolizes in its active compound that is cotinine. In order to pass the test for nicotine, you need to understand the nature of the test whether it is being performed for cotinine of nicotine.

Nicotine takes few hours to leave the body while cotinine takes up to 16 hours to leave the body. So the addict must wait for at least 24 to 30 hours before carrying out the test for cotinine =.

  • Quit smoking a few days before

The next step is to quit all kind of drugs at least a week before carrying out the screening test. If you are chain smoker then cut on the drugs a month before.

  • Take diuretics

Diuretic accelerates the urination process thus sweeps out the harmful toxins from the body. So before passing out the test, start taking diuretics a week before.

  • Go for alternatives

It is usually difficult for heavy smokers to quit the nicotine. Consult your doctor and he will prescribe the alternatives like varenicline. Other than this, nicotine gums are very effective to help you cut down on the cigars and cigarettes. These will trim down the cravings of nicotine.

Are E-cigarettes helpful in passing nicotine test or not?

E-cigarettes aka vaping is an innovation in the world of drugs. This is a new way to take in the nicotine, however; it is less addictive as compared to other forms of nicotine. These contain e-juice which is the liquid form of nicotine. These cigarettes produce a mist that is enriched with nicotine and other tobacco products. This mist is then inhaled. These contain less amount of nicotine but still, this amount is detectable in the blood, saliva or even urine test.

Are E-cigarettes helpful in passing nicotine test or not?

Nicotine replacement therapy

This therapy is helping youth to quit smoking. Recent studies have shown that NRT reduces the smoking rate by 50 to 70 percent. This therapy replaces the traditional form of cigarettes and drugs by commercially available types of NRT which are as follows:

  • Nicotine lozenges
  • Nicotine sprays
  • Nicotine patches
  • Nicotine gums
  • Sublingual tablets

Different forms of nicotine available in market

The following are the commercially available forms of nicotine. These contain somehow more or less amount of nicotine along with other addictive substances like tobacco.

  • Bidis:

These are small hand-rolled tobacco sticks which are rolled in a temburni leaf. These come in multiple flavors like chocolate, strawberry and even mint flavors. These are cancer-causing and contain higher amounts of tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide.

  • Cigars:

Cigars are made from dried tobacco. It is said that the amount of nicotine present in cigars are far more than cigarettes. They take more time to smoke than cigarettes.

  • Dissolvable tobacco

Tobacco lozenges, strips, and orbs are the type of dissolvable tobacco that dissolves as soon as they are placed on the tongue. They are smoke-free. This is a new product launched in the market recently.

  • Hookah

Hookah has been in use for long. Shisha is the alternative of the hookah that contains tobacco mixed with some other flavor. Hookah also contains nicotine.

  • Kreteks

Kreteks contain more amount of nicotine, tar, and monoxide as compared to traditional cigarettes. These are clove-flavored cigarettes.

Some interesting facts about nicotine

Some of the interesting facts about nicotine are as follows:

  • Nicotine requires only 7 seconds to hit the brain and exerts various effects that could change your mood.
  • When nicotine hits the brain, it activates the fight and flight condition which is responsible for shortness of breath and accelerated heartbeat.
  • Nicotine users have increased blood glucose levels as compared to non-users. This is the reason that smokers have reduced appetite.
  • This addictive drug binds to dopamine receptors in the brain that causes euphoria.

Lethal Doses of Nicotine

Cigarettes that contain nicotine do not cause death because they contain very less amount of nicotine and it is used with other components that decrease the effect of nicotine. However, if you ingest only about 30 mg of pure nicotine it will cause respiratory paralysis and person will die immediately.

If children consume only about 10mg it will be fatal. Nicotine is also absorbed rapidly via the skin. So if e-juice spills mistakenly over the skin, it is absorbed and can be harmful.

Hazardous health effects of nicotine

Nicotine is the culprit behind some long-lasting health hazards which are as follows:

  • Nicotine leads to the plaque formation by damaging smooth muscle.
  • Nicotine slows down the process of wound healing in bones by inhibiting the synthesis of osteoblast cells.
  • Unwanted cells are not removed by the body, because nicotine halts the process of apoptosis, thus leading to severe problems.
  • Nicotine also damages the spinal cord thus leading to lifelong spinal disc collapse issues.

Contraindication of

In case if you suffer from the following conditions then you must not take nicotine because it is contraindicated in such conditions:

  • Asthma
  • Myocardial infarction
  • Pregnancy
  • Hyperthyroidism
  • Hypertension
  • Seizures or epilepsy
  • Diabetes
  • Pheochromocytoma

Taking nicotine in the above-stated conditions can lead to some severe adverse effects and in some cases, it can lead to death. So if you are nicotine addict then you must try hard to quit on it if you suffer from any of these conditions because health is a blessing and one should not waste it.

Questions related to nicotine in the body!!!!

So if you want to know anything about nicotine detection tests, mechanism of action, withdrawal symptoms of nicotine you can simply post your precious questions in the comment box below. Our medical experts will get back to you and will solve all your queries.

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