Nicotine is cleared from the blood in two ways: the kidneys and the liver. As the smoker ages, the kidneys have a reduced ability to clear the drug. The reduction in renal clearance is likely related to reduced blood flow to the liver. Nicotine is also found in urine.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Blood?-Tests for nicotine
Nicotine stays in the body for about two to 11 hours after the last use, but there are exceptions to this rule. Nicotine breaks down into another substance called cotinine, which remains in the body for a longer period. Age, genetics, diet, and medications can influence this process.
The easiest way to test for nicotine is through the urine. A paramedical examiner will collect a sample of your urine, and it will be analyzed to see if there's any nicotine present in it. If there's any nicotine present, life insurance companies consider the test positive. The urine test can also be done at home with an over-the-counter nicotine test pack. The test will tell you the amount of nicotine in your blood, and it is accurate to as much as two milligrams of nicotine per milliliter of your blood.
Depending on how often you smoke cigarettes, the amount of nicotine in your blood will vary. Some people have higher levels than others, while others may have lower levels. The length of time that nicotine stays in your body is highly dependent on the amount of nicotine in your body and how frequently you smoke. Nicotine can be detected in the urine, blood, saliva, and hair.
Tests for nicotine stay in the blood can also detect cotinine and anabasine, two of the metabolites of nicotine. Among these two, cotinine stays in the bloodstream longer than nicotine.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Blood?-Tests to detect cotinine
The amount of cotinine in the blood is important to identify tobacco users. The level of cotinine in the blood is elevated in smokers, while it is lower in non-smokers. Tests to detect cotinine in the blood can help plan research involving exposure to ETS.
Tests to detect cotinine in the blood are common and inexpensive. The measurement is specific and is based on the concentration of nicotine in the blood. Cotinine is produced when nicotine enters the body. This is why serum testing is useful in certain circumstances when a valid urine specimen is not available.
In addition to testing blood, saliva is another way to detect cotinine. Some employers use saliva testing kits provided by third-party labs. These kits involve swabbing the mouth and inserting the sample into a self-sealing container. This method is less expensive than sending each employee to a lab for blood tests.
To detect cotinine in the blood, you must stop smoking 10 days before the test. This can help flush the nicotine from the system. Healthy eating and exercise can help your body remove nicotine from the system. It also improves circulation and releases waste products through sweat. Moreover, a healthy diet should include foods rich in antioxidants. Some commercial products and herbal remedies also claim to speed up the clearing of nicotine from the body. Nevertheless, these claims have not been tested by regulators.
The amount of cotinine in the blood depends on the amount of nicotine in the system and the frequency of use. It can be detected in the urine for up to three days in the case of non-smokers. On the other hand, regular smokers may have detectable levels in their urine for 15 to 20 days.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Blood?-Tests to detect nicotine in hair follicles
Although hair follicle testing is more expensive than urine or blood tests, it can help determine whether a person is a smoker. Hair follicles can contain traces of nicotine for months or even years. Depending on the type of test used, hair testing can also reveal passive and environmental exposure.
Nicotine can be detected in the blood several days after inhalation of tobacco smoke. The blood level of cotinine will reach a non-smoker level in seven to ten days after a smoker ceases smoking. This is one of the best ways to determine whether a person has been smoking for long periods. Moreover, hair testing is accurate for detecting nicotine for as many as 12 months after the individual quits smoking.
Another type of hair drug testing is available to detect nicotine for a longer period. This test is more expensive and less common. For this test, a small sample of hair must be removed and analyzed for nicotine concentrations. The results of such tests are typically available within one to five days after the sample has been collected. A compound called thiocyanate is used to detect nicotine in hair. This compound is found in some medicines and foods. Vegetarians, for example, may have higher levels of thiocyanate in their hair than non-vegetarians.
Tests to detect nicotine in hair forces are a useful tool for pre-employment or regular workplace screenings. The sample of hair is collected as close to the scalp as possible and can detect drugs within seven to nine days of use.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Blood?-Tests to detect nicotine in saliva
There are several ways to test for nicotine in saliva. Nicotine is a chemical found in tobacco that can be metabolized by the liver, and it can remain in the body for a few days or even weeks after you stop smoking. This chemical is found in saliva, urine, blood, and hair. There are some differences in the way nicotine is metabolized in saliva compared to urine.
Tests to detect nicotine in saliva are quick and simple and can detect the substance in your system up to 24 hours after smoking. The saliva sample is mixed with a chemical called cotinine, which shows the amount of nicotine present. Some studies have shown that nicotine can stay in the saliva for up to 11 hours in a heavy smoker, so it is important to know whether you are a heavy smoker or not before you schedule the test.
The salivary test is conducted in front of a person, which makes it difficult to cheat. It is also effective as a comprehensive smoking prevention tool. For example, salivary testing can be used in households where smoking is not allowed. Moreover, many young people do not light up if they know they will be tested, which may reduce the temptation to light up.