Wednesday, June 19, 2024

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How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?

Nicotine is a stimulant found in tobacco and its products- cigarettes and chews, for example, snuff and cigars too. Now you realize why experts warn against smoking and why is it so injurious to our health? Let’s understand the harmful effects of nicotine and what it can do to our bodies.

Formula: C₁₀H₁₄N₂
Elimination half-life: 1-2 hours; 20 hours active metabolite
Melting point−79 °C (−110 °F)
Addiction liabilityHigh
MetabolismPrimarily hepatic: CYP2A6, CYP2B6, FMO3, others
ExcretionRenal, urine pH-dependent; 10–20% (gum), 30% (inhaled); 10–30% (intranasal)
Density: 1.01 g/cm3

What Does Nicotine Do?

When you smoke, chew tobacco or inhale snuff, there is high amounts nicotine entering your body’s bloodstream. Medical science has proved that nicotine can reach the human brain in a span of seven seconds or less.

Nicotine, once it enters your body starts to affect every major organ. It constricts blood vessels, increasing the blood pressure and stimulating the heart, and raises the blood fat levels, besides causing adverse effects like weakened immunity, fatigue, long-term diseases, decreased healing time etc.

Nicotine, when consumed through smoking, goes straight to the lungs which increase the health risk of the individual. Working through permanently damaging cells in the body, nicotine doesn’t do any good to the body except for temporary relaxation.

How Long Does Nicotine Take To Kick In?

It depends on whether you are a casual user or a chronic user of nicotine.

For a casual user of nicotine, it takes about 1-4 hours to kick in, whereas for a chronic user, it is almost immediate.

How Long Does Nicotine Last?

Nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream every time one smokes or chews tobacco. Even inhalation of secondhand smoke from a cigarette absorbs nicotine into the bloodstream.

After the usage of tobacco products, nicotine can be detected in the blood for about 3 days later to the usage.

Nicotine is broken down by enzymes into Cotinine which can be detected in the body for up to three months after ingestion

Although how long it lasts in your body depends on a variety of parameters, the main one being the frequency of usage of nicotine intake into the body. Others being your age, general health conditions etc. Nicotine leaves traces of it for a long time in the body.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?

When you puff a ciggy, you would be inhaling the smoke and this is how nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream through the lungs. Let’s take a look at how long nicotine stays in one’s system.

In blood

Around a milligram of nicotine enters the bloodstream when you smoke a ciggy, say experts. But would last only up to three days, since you last smoked.

In urine

Urine tests normally show three to four days for the nicotine to last in the body, after the last smoke, say experts. However, this would be dependent upon the number of ciggies you smoke in a day.

In some cases, chain smokers especially, nicotine stays in the body for around two to three weeks; found in the urine.

In saliva

Medical science says, when you smoke, the nicotine content stays in the saliva for around four days. Once the period is passed, it would wash out of the salivary glands.

In hair

Not days or weeks, but months. Experts opine nicotine testing shows how it can stay put in the hair for a year and can wash off after that.

How to Clear Nicotine from the Body?

Even after you finish your cigarette, once the levels of nicotine start lowering in your body, the craving for another cigarette starts to begin. A few steps to clearing nicotine from your body:

  1. Quit smoking. Control the craving, and totally avoid cigarettes.
  1. Drink plenty of water daily to flush out the toxins nicotine has brought in. Also, eat fruits that are rich in anti-oxidants.
  1. Exercise every day to help increase the metabolism rate in your body. Exercise leads to sweating which eventually results in flushing out the unnecessary substances in the body.
  1. Taking in plenty of Vitamin C supplements or orange juice throughout the day can help in increasing metabolism as well as helps in a faster process of clearing the toxins.
  1. When you feel the urge to smoke, do breathing exercises and inhale and exhale while you feel your stomach move.
  1. Avoid alcohol, coffee, sugar and anything else that could trigger a nicotine craving.
  1. Stress happens to everyone, this gives you no reason to smoke. Golden words you need to live by.

These are the factors that determine how long nicotine would metabolise and last in our bodies. With that being said, and since you are eager to know how to pass the nicotine test- let’s take a look at the ideas, shall we!

How to Pass Nicotine Test?

  1. Stop using all kinds of tobacco products/nicotine related substances for about 1 week prior to the test.
  2. In that 1 week, try to drink a whole lot of fluids and everything you can to flush out the toxins.
  3. Even being a passive smoker, can show traces of nicotine in your blood. So do not be around smokers.
  4. You will be passed through a screen test. If all the above 3 rules are followed aptly, you are bound to pass the nicotine test.

With that, we end on the note of how to rid the body of nicotine the soonest. But if you still continue with smoking, snuffing and chewing tobacco, here are side-effects that can take a toll on you!

How does nicotine make you feel?

When nicotine is inhaled, the buzz you feel is the release of epinephrine which stimulates the body and causes your blood pressure and heart rate to increase and makes you breathe harder.

Nicotine also activates a specific part of your brain that makes you feel happy by stimulating the release of the hormone dopamine.

Side Effects of Nicotine

The side effects of nicotine are plenty, although some effects are major and some are minor:

  1. Headache
  2. Blurred vision
  3. Dizziness
  4. Pounding in ears
  5. Problems with teeth
  6. Weakness
  7. Sore Throat
  8. Vomiting
  9. Change in taste
  10. Stuffy and runny nose

Besides the above mentioned side effects, there are some serious effects as well which will need immediate medical attention.

  1. Pain in chest
  2. Uneven heartbeat
  3. Severe swelling and rashes
  4. Seizures
  5. Difficulty in breathing


Remember, the government isn’t wrong when it says smoking is harmful and chewing tobacco is bad for our health- we have mentioned why they say so and in large details too.

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