How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?

Stop smoking hypnosisThe effects of nicotine on the body vary from short to long-lasting.  We are familiar with many of these – lung damage, high cholesterol, etc.  But the question is, how long is nicotine actually in your body for?  What is the detection period for a nicotine test (using urine)?

When your body takes in nicotine, it starts to break it down. walks us through the process.

The liver breaks down nicotine into cotinine, the amount of which is proportionate to the amount of nicotine in your body (even nicotine that entered through second hand smoke).  In the lungs, nicotine is also broken down into cotinine, as well as nicotine oxide.

Cotinine is what tobacco tests really look for.  It takes about two to five hours for it to begin showing up in the urine, assuming for example that this is your first cigarette ever.  If you smoke daily, it will already be in your body from repeated previous uses.  How fast cotinine leaves your body is dependent upon metabolism, which can vary greatly between people (for example, some people are not able to break down nicotine in the body as easily as others; these people actually tend to smoke less, because maintaining a steady level of nicotine in the body requires fewer cigarettes).  In general though, a tobacco test can detect use for about 2-4 days after the cessation of smoking.

So if you want to see if someone has been smoking, or if your body contains cotinine, a tobacco test is your best option.  That way you don’t have to wonder about metabolism issues and the like – you can just find out, cheaply and at home.  Cotinine is also standard not just for home tests but for testing in general, since it is so suggestive of tobacco consumption and lasts longer in the body than nicotine.

Hopefully this answers some questions about how long nicotine stays in the body!  If you are interested in a tobacco test you can purchase one from us for $2.79 each.