- Question: How long does nicotine stay in your system ?
- Answer: 3-4 days
What is Nicotine?
Nicotine is an alkaloid that makes about 3% of dry tobacco weight, mainly in the roots and leaves of the plant known as Nicotania tabacum, that was named after Jean Nicot de Villemain, in the 16 century France. Nicotine can be also found in other plants of the nightshade family, but in much smaller quantity.
Nicotine has an antiherbivore effect, lethal to insects, and was widely used as an insecticide in the late 17 century. United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in 2008 prohibited the use of Nicotine sulfate and any nicotine-based pesticides due to their high toxicity to humans and their quick absorption thru the skin.
Nicotine mainly affects the brain. In high concentration nicotine is lethal to humans(30-60mg) while in small concentration, like in the cigarettes where it is around 1mg it acts as a stimulant to the brain, but which is enough to cause addiction to nicotine thru smoking.
When u finish a cigarette the euphoria and nicotine effects disappear, which cause the human body to want to feel it again and thus wanting to smoke more, which brings the addiction to nicotine.
When a smoker tries to quit a question is raised: what are the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal and how long does nicotine stay in your system? The symptoms of nicotine withdrawal include anxiety, trouble sleeping, nicotine craving, depression, headaches, low ability to concentrate and gaining weight. As to the “how long does nicotine stay in your system” let’s see how nicotine is first absorbet by the system. When smoking the inhaled nicotine is metabolized into cotinine in the liver and the lungs and excreted in the urine.
Cotinine being a reliable biomarker is used to detect nicotine usage in tests of blood, urine or saliva. How long does nicotine stay in your system depends on the amount of smoking and the length of time being a smoker.
– How long does nicotine stay in your system (blood tests)
Nicotine is admixed with blood after being metabolized into cotinine. Liver then tries to process the blood and detoxification is started, but this process is slow and might take 1-3 days to clear nicotine traces after a product containing nicotine such as cigarettes or nicotine patches. This is also dependent on the amount of nicotine consumed.
When test are done to find cotinine on the other hand, it will take from 1-10 days until traces in the blood become undetectable.
– How long does nicotine stay in your system (urine tests)
The urine sample test is the common method of determining nicotine consumption which also detects the traces of cotinine in the system. After being absorbed by the system in the form of cotinine, nicotine is discarded by the body thru urine together with other body wastes. Thru urine, nicotine use is detectable only for 3-4 days.
In some cases like passive smokers or menthol cigarette smokers, nicotine tests thru urine may turn positive for up to 20 days.
– How long does nicotine stay in your system (saliva tests)
This is the preferred method of testing being the most accurate method. It can detect much lower levels of nicotine use than the urine test and can give an approximate
nicotine consumption level. Cotinine might be detected thru a saliva test for up to 2-4 days after usage.
This is a reliable method to measure long-term nicotine use, but is an expensive method of testing. This method is extremely accurate for a period of up to 3 months after stop smoking, and can detect nicotine use for up to 1 year after quitting.
– How long does nicotine stay in your system (system clean)
Most people believe that nicotine is out of your system in just 3 days, but that is not correct. Nicotine is absorbed very fast by the system and is an immediate stimulant, which gives it the high addiction qualities and which explains why it’s more addictive then even heroine. But getting it out of the system takes far longer and its residues in the system can last for weeks. Once nicotine consumption is stopped, its levels in the system immediately begin to drop, but it does not disappear immediately. In around 1 week after stopping smoking, the body starts to release stimulants previously triggered by nicotine, but in much lower quantities. This causes the “strange” feeling in smokers after they quit. Simply put it takes a few weeks to be rid of nicotine from the system.
In just 20 minutes after quitting the heart rate will start to drop to normal levels.
In 2 hours after quitting u will have almost normal blood pressure and heart rate. The blood flow will have improved in your extremities like finger tips and they start to feel warmer. Early nicotine withdrawal symptoms start to apear about 2 hours after you quit. They include:
- * Drowsiness or trouble sleeping
- * Anxiety, tension, or frustration
- * Intense cravings
- * increased appetite
In just 12 hours after your last cigarette, carbon monoxide, which can be toxic at high levels, and is inhaled while burning tobacco as part of the smoke, will drop to lower levels which in turm lets the oxygen levels increase to normal in your system.
In just 24 hours after quitting, the risk of having a heart attack will start to drop. Smokers have a higher heart attack risk then non-smokers, but just 24 hours after nicotine use the difference starts to diminish.
In 48 hours nerve endings start to regrow and you start to feel enhanced senses like smell and taste. Nicotine cause deadened senses, in particular smell and taste, but after 2 days the person starts to regain lost sensitivity.
In 3 days Nicotine will have completely left your body, which also means the symptoms of nicotine withdrawal will be at their peak. During this time is recommended to indulge yourself in nice things with the money you would had spend on smoke, to counter the effects of nicotine withdrawal.
In 2-3 weeks your body starts to regenerate damaged parts of your system like lungs or or heart. You start to breathe easier and don’t get winded after any small activities.
Is there a difference in how long does nicotine stay in your system for heavier smokers? Even in the heaviest of smokers, the withdrawal effects will disappear in a few months. The regeneration will take longer, but in any case it will not pass several months for life to return to normal, except for cases of heavy organ damage.