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How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?

Nicotine is one main ingredient in cigarettes. Most e-juice brands have also incorporated nicotine-infused flavours and shots in their collection.

Whether you’re trying to quit smoking, or preparing for a potential test, knowing how long nicotine stays in your system is critical.

Nicotine works its way into different systems of the body at different times. As such, the amount of time Nicotine can appear in hair, urine and other systems are varied.

Factors affecting the processing of Nicotine

Before addressing the amount of time nicotine takes in your system, it’s vital to understand some of the factors that might affect the process of nicotine in the body leading to longer or shorter times in your system.

  • Age – Age is a major determinant of how long it takes for the body to process nicotine. Typically, in older people, it takes longer to process nicotine.
  • Genes – Research shows that people with certain genetic backgrounds can process nicotine faster. Ideally, Hispanics and Caucasians metabolise nicotine faster than Asians and African-Americans.
  • Hormones – Some hormones like oestrogen can help speed up the metabolism of nicotine. As a result, women especially those that are using oestrogen hormones or are pregnant might eliminate nicotine from their systems faster.
  • Liver function – The liver plays a profound role in processing nicotine and other products in the body. Liver function varies between different people. As a result, the speed with which nicotine is processed varies.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in the Blood?

Nicotine appears in the blood in as little as an hour after inhalation. It takes up to 10 days for the nicotine to clear from your blood. Blood tests are the most efficient and preferred method of testing for nicotine.

Blood tests are also used to determine nicotine exposure among non-smokers. As such, allowing enough time before taking the test is critical.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your Saliva?

Cotinine, which is the active compound in nicotine can be traced in saliva for up to four days after the last use.

Testing saliva is a non-invasive method and is often preferred among patients and it also has a lower risk of tampering.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your Urine?

The period it takes for nicotine to clear from your urine depends on how long you have been smoking. Ideally, the cotinine levels in urine should clear within 7 to 10 days. However, if you have been smoking for a while, it might take up to 21 days for the nicotine to become undetectable in your urine.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your Hair?

Nicotine is present in the hair for up to 90 days after the last ingestion. Some test can also detect nicotine in the hair for up to a year after the last exposure.

Hair is not commonly tested for nicotine as much as urine, blood and saliva, mainly because it costs more. However, hair tests have a longer nicotine detection window.

If you would like to speed up the process of removing nicotine from your system, you can try various methods like drinking more water, engaging in physical activities and taking antioxidants.  

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