How long does Nicotine stay in your System?

Nicotine can be found in any of the tobacco products. Consumption of tobacco in any type, like cigar, spit/snuff tobacco, cigarette, smokeless tobacco etc. is harmful for health. When a person consumes tobacco, nicotine passes inside the body and it metabolizes into cotinine in lungs, liver and other body parts. Nicotine use can be detected through various test like blood test, urine test, saliva test and hair test. Both nicotine and cotinine are good indicators of nicotine use.

To determine the time period as to how long nicotine stays in the system depends on many factors like the kind of test taken to detect nicotine levels, age, level of hydration, body mass, activities, health conditions etc. Therefore, it is not easy to determine the limit as to how long nicotine stays in your system. In few examinations detection of nicotine is possible for up to 10 days whereas some other analysis can identify the presence of nicotine in the body for approximately ninety days. It is known that a hair test can detect nicotine presence in the system for around three months while in urine and saliva nicotine tests, its presence can be identified for around one to three days.

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Two major factors help to detect how long does nicotine stay in your system namely:

  • Type of tobacco used like cigar, cigarette
  • Level of tobacco consumption.

In case of chain and heavy smokers, nicotine and its level in the system can be detected for about ten days or more; for medium tobacco users it is about five days and lastly for light smokers it is for around two to three days. In people who consume tobacco by chewing, nicotine can remain in the system for more than ten days.

Different tests to determine nicotine presence in the system

There are three main types of test to detect nicotine in the system. These are:

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  1. Nicotine Blood test:Nicotine blood tests are responsive and can easilytrace even small amounts of nicotine in blood. These blood tests might aid in determining the incidence of nicotine, its absence, and its level. These are reliable and high standard blood tests that helps examine nicotine presence in the body.
  • How long does nicotine stay in your blood: Nicotine gets mixed with the blood after it metabolizes into continine.Such waste from the blood is then eliminated through the liver. This is done through detoxification process.
    • After consumption of products which contain nicotine such as cigar, cigarette etc., nicotine is found in the blood test for one to three days. The time period taken to detect nicotine might be different as per the consumer’s age, level of consumption and such other factors. At times nicotine level might be detected in the blood for one to ten days.
  • There can be wrong test reports i.e. false test report stating presence of nicotine in blood. This could be due to various reasons like:
    • Consumption of food items containing thiocyanate substances like mustard, almond, cabbage
    • Lab errors
    • Use of medicines such as amphetamines
  1. Nicotine Saliva test:Nicotine saliva test gives more precise test report in comparison to other test reports. It eliminates the necessity to have urine and blood sample and also gives details about the approximate quantity of consumption of tobacco. It can even find trace nicotine levels between 0 to 2,000ng/ml, which is much lower as compared to the urine tests.
  • In nicotine saliva test, saliva sample is taken from the patient and test strip is then immersed in the sample for around twenty minutes. Reaction helps to know the level and quantity of nicotine in the system.
  • How long does nicotine stay in your saliva: It can be detected in saliva for more than 10 hours and at times for two to four days.
  1. Nicotine Urine test: It is one of the most widespread and commonly used form of nicotine tests. The reason is that such tests are easy to access and can be purchased without a prescription. Various urine tests can be conducted for determination of nicotine in the body. First the test strip has to be put into urine (sample urine) for around 5 minutes; then comes the answer which may be positive or negative. Normal level has to be 200ng/ml of nicotine.
  • How long does nicotine stay in your urine:Once nicotine enters the system, it metabolizes into cotinine and is later removed through urine. Nicotine urine test helps to determine the level of toxin for around three to four days after last consumption of a tobacco product. The detection time period may still at times differ in few cases. In case of menthol cigarette users, nicotine could take more time to be eliminated from the body whereas nicotine may be present in the system for about fifteen to twenty days in case of passive smokers.


Consumption of healthy food items, maintaining a good diet, a regular routine of exercise and intake of water and food such as garlic, onion and egg yolk, all of this will aid to remove nicotine from the system.

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