How long does nicotine stay in your system?
Smoking has been a controversial issue for a long time. And nicotine, one of the main ingredients found in cigarette, snuff or tobacco, comprises more than 40,000 chemicals. It may make up from 0.6% to 3.0% of one cigarette. Therefore, if tobacco products like chewing tobacco, cigars or cigarettes are consumed, nicotine will be consumed and gives the consumers high pleasure. Depending on the level of cigars you consumed, the amount of nicotine is absorbed in the body is various. There are also different ways that nic-otine being consumed in the form such as nico-tine patches, nico-tine gums and from secondhand smoke as well. (Secondhand smoke means you inhale the smoke without smoking).
Regardless of the ways of consumption, the body will process nicotine in the same method. The only difference is how fast it is digested and metabolized and how long it will stay in the system. The differences may depend on various factors.
Nicotine absorption in the blood is vastly fast, and it can reach to the brain in only 7 seconds. Upon approaching the brain, neurotransmitter like dopamine are instantly released. Hence, the consumers will reach characteristic so-called “high.” This feeling is only temporary in the matter of seconds or minutes. Thus, the consumers will continue smoking to get more nico-tine in the system to restore the “high” state. However, eventually, the “high” will fade away, and it does so much quicker than its “friend” – nicotine found in the system. It means, even though the high caused by nicotine has already faded away, the other in the body might not have left yet.
To completely know how long nicotine leaves traces in the system, it is essential to understand how it is metabolized in the system and the pathway it goes. There is no ordinary rule applies that how long nico-tine will be restored in the system because there are different factors which might vary from the frequency of the user, the dosage of nico-tine consumption to the physiology of the user.
Nicotine possesses a half-life of about 2 hours. Thus, it should be cleared from the body in an approximately of 12 hours. As it is a toxic compound to the body, it will pass through liver and kidney. The liver uses a chemical named cytochrome P450 to metabolize the nico-tine in the body will do everything it can get all the traces of nico-tine out of the body.
The speed will mainly depend on two primary factors: the amount of nicotine consumption and how long the system is exposed to the substance. Mostly, you can expect the nico-tine will leave your system between 24 to 48 hours after its last exposure. Moreover, it is also essential to know that the enzymes found in the liver metabolize nico-tine and its main breakdown product, cotinine, might stay up in your system for a quite long time since it possesses an extended half-life of 12 to 28 hours.
Factors that affect duration of nicotine stay in the system
Various factors will affect the period of nicotine is presented in the body however they will be categorized into different sections:
Personal physiological factors like hormone levels or age
The frequency of consumption
The ingestion method
Every human body is unique, and there are various factors that ensure its unity such as gender, age, thus, it is vital to know that all of the elements play different but essential roles in how quickly or how well nico-tine is processed in the system and eventually eliminated.
Naturally, the progress may take a long time with those are older especially those are above 65 years old. It is claimed that these people who are older than 65 will process 23% less efficiently than those who are younger. In contrast, those are newborn babies may not even have the ability to generate nicotine. And those children aged from 2 3 to 15 will process nico-tine much lesser than mature people as their liver processes might be not advanced enough to encounter these issues.
Moreover, the hormone also plays a primary role in how long nicotine is processed. It has been discovered that estrogen – the hormone typically belongs to women, will boost the process a lot faster.
Besides, the way of ingestion also vastly influences the metabolism of the nicotine. Even though this has to deal with the amount of nico-tine intake and how much more challenging it becomes for the system to metabolize higher levels. From researchers, nico-tine ingested from smoking will be eliminated much slower than other methods. Metabolism of nico-tine is much more efficient when it is ingested without other additional chemicals in cigarettes and tobacco.
Nicotine in urine and blood
The appearance of nicotine in the body is testable in various methods. It can be checked by the blood samples, hair samples, saliva samples and urine samples. Some of the tests will track the appearance of nico-tine outright while others track for its breakdown product, cotinine. The outcomes of the test mainly depend on the duration after you last expose to the nicotine. Notably, if you consume nico-tine by smoking cigarettes or tobacco, the nico-tine still can be tracked in your blood stream up to 3 days and up to 4 days in the urine.
The blood test to track nicotine might be either quantitative or qualitative. The qualitative one can be carried out to check whether a patient has recently use nico-tine and the results are very precise. The results are either positive or negative. On the other hand, the quantitative tests can track how much above a certain threshold or the amount of nico-tine in the body. This test determines how much nico-tine one has consumed recently.
Urine tests are much easier to execute since they are less harmful to the body. The nico-tine main breakdown product, cotinine, can be screened for in fresh urine samples. There is a finite threshold set that a positive test can show which is about 200ng/ml. Those with the results are higher than that is believed to have recently consumed nico-tine.
Those who are trying to get rid of nicotine from their body should bear in mind that the effects are long-term, and cravings, as well as withdrawal reactions, might last up to 3 years. That is the reason that many people fail to quit completely.