How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System

There is no doubt that tobacco is the leading preventable cause of death in the world today. Nicotiana tabacum is the herb used to make tobacco.

As a chemical defense, the plant produces nicotine to stop insects from eating it. Smoke from tobacco may contain additional chemicals that may increase nicotine’s addictive qualities.

In addition to cancer and cardiovascular disease, tobacco use is a leading cause of pulmonary disease, cardiovascular disease, and stroke.

There is also a risk of cancer from cigarette smoking, as well as conditions such as respiratory tract infections, osteoporosis, and reproductive disorders. 

Smoking can also cause delayed wound healing, duodenal and gastric ulcers, and diabetes. Smoking is also associated with severe burns and injuries caused by trauma.

Exposure to tobacco smoke is the cause of smoking-induced disease. The most important cause of smoking-induced diseases is nicotine addiction, not nicotine itself. 

The purpose of this guide is to explain all the information about nicotine addiction and how long it stays in your system.

Nicotine Lasts For How Long?

Nicotine is absorbed into your bloodstream whenever you smoke, chew tobacco, or breathe in secondhand smoke.

As a result of this chemical breakdown, most of the nicotine in your body is converted to cotinine.

The amount of cotinine you ingest will be determined by the amount of nicotine you ingest. You will eventually eliminate these substances through urine.

In general, nicotine is detectable in your body for up to three months after ingesting cotinine, the main breakdown product of nicotine.

Nicotine stays in your system for a certain amount of time depending on how frequently and how much you consume.

Urine Containing Cotinine?

Smokers usually have cotinine in their urine for about four days after smoking infrequently.

You may be able to detect cotinine for up to three weeks after your last exposure to nicotine if you are regularly exposed to it.

If you provided a urine sample soon after ingesting nicotine, the likelihood of a positive urine test increases.

As long as you are currently smoking, the test may be positive at 1,000 nanograms per ng/mL. A positive test may be over 30 ng/mL if you haven’t smoked in over two weeks.

You should discuss the results with your doctor because every lab may have different reference ranges for positivity.

How Long Will Traces Of Nicotine Be Present In Your Blood?

The presence of nicotine in your blood lasts for one to three days, and the presence of cotinine is detectable up to ten days later.

Testing for nicotine in your blood can determine qualitatively whether there is a presence of nicotine and quantitatively how much nicotine is present.

Anabasine is another breakdown product that can be detected along with nicotine and cotinine.

Testing for nicotine in the blood results in many false positives. A compound called thiocyanate is usually responsible for this.

Foods such as broccoli and cabbage contain this compound, as do some medications. As long as you know about this and do not smoke, you shouldn’t be alarmed.

Can You Detect Nicotine In Your Hair Follicles Or Saliva?

It can take up to four days for nicotine and cotinine to completely leave your saliva. For up to three months after you last smoked, nicotine traces can be found in your hair follicles.

Nicotine can be detected in your hair for up to a year after your last exposure, depending on the hair test used.

Despite being available, hair testing isn’t used as often as urine, saliva, and blood testing. Hair testing is usually more expensive than urine, saliva, or blood testing.

What Influences The Duration Of Nicotine’s Presence In Your Body?

Nicotine stays in the body for different amounts of time depending on the person. Nicotine may leave your system quicker or last longer depending on your individual circumstances.

This really is one of the main dividing lines between how long nicotine lasts in your body.

How Often You Smoke 

Within two to three days after smoking, traces of nicotine are usually cleared from your system if you’re a light user.

Heavy smokers may be able to detect nicotine traces for as long as a year after last using the product.

Lifestyle And Age

You can influence how quickly your body metabolizes and eliminates nicotine by changing certain factors.

In older people, it may take longer for the body to eliminate this toxin.  Furthermore, sex hormones are believed to be involved.

Pregnant women and those taking estrogen are likely to metabolize nicotine more rapidly than men.

Depending on the liver enzymes in an individual, nicotine may also be metabolized at different rates by different people.

In addition, how quickly your body metabolizes depends on your family genetics.


Some medications can cause your body to metabolize nicotine more slowly or more quickly.

Some medications like phenobarbital and rifampin help the body to metabolize nicotine much quicker than others.

Nicotine metabolism is slowed down by antifungals, such as ketoconazole, and by high blood pressure medications, such as amlodipine.

What Is The Best Way To Get Rid Of Nicotine In The Body?

Abstaining from tobacco products is the best way to eliminate nicotine from your system. Therefore, nicotine can be broken down in your body and excreted.

Although this is far more difficult than it may seem. There are some other steps you can take which include:

  • Drinking Water:  As you drink more water, your body releases more nicotine through urine. This is a key method to getting it out of your body a lot quicker and we recommend it.
  • Exercise: By exercising, you will burn up nicotine faster since your body’s metabolism increases. When you sweat, nicotine and its derivatives are expelled.
  • Eat Foods Enriched In Antioxidants: You can increase your metabolism rate by consuming antioxidants. Oranges and carrots are good choices. They also contain fiber, which is good for removing toxins from the body.


It should be quite clear to you now that you have read through this guide in its entirety and that you have an understanding of everything you need to know about nicotine and how long it stays in your body.

If you compare the lifespan of nicotine in your body to that of others, you might be surprised by how much time it spends in the body.

If you are one of those people who tend to smoke heavily, consider using one of the steps you can take to removing nicotine out of your body quicker

Frequently Asked Questions

How Long Does It Take To Feel Effects?

The effects of nicotine on the body are immediate. A smoked substance reaches the brain within 20 seconds after entering the bloodstream.

Despite its stimulant properties, Nicotine actually increases central nervous system activity, which paradoxically makes smokers feel relaxed.

Does Too Much Nicotine Harm Your Health?

It is almost certainly detrimental to your health if you consume excess nicotine. Nicotine is addictive, but inhaling it and combusting it to make it into smoke is what causes cancer and other serious health problems.

Jonie Dean
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