Dynamic Testing Solutions Blog

Nicotine Testing

Robyn Ainsworth - Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Nicotine Testing

How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?

When you smoke, nicotine is processed by your body and it will get rid of the substance over time. It is estimated that about 80 percent of the nicotine that you inhale is converted to cotinine in the liver. In the lungs, nicotine is metabolized into cotinine and nicotine oxide, these are then excreted in the urine.

The length of time that nicotine stays in your body for will depend on three factors: the amount you smoke, the number of years that you have been smoking for, and the type of nicotine test that is performed.

If the nicotine test is a urine test, you should be clean within 2-4 days of your last smoke. For heavy smokers, it might take a week (and possibly longer) for the cotinine traces to leave your urine or remain so small that they are undetectable.

Cotinine is detectable in blood for at least several days after exposure to tobacco smoke. Depending on how much you smoke, the level of cotinine in your blood will reflect a nonsmoker level in 7 to 10 days.

The nicotine test that offers the longest detection window is a hair follicle nicotine test. These are rarely administered due to their expense, but they do exist. Nicotine can be detected for months after smoking cessation in the hair.

We test for Cotinine in both the urine and hair, please call our office for a quote.


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