How long does nicotine stay in your urine?

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How long does nicotine stay in your urine?

How long nicotine stays in your system depends a variety of different factors including how much or often you smoke, how long you have been smoking and what type of testing is administered to check for the nicotine. Those who are concerned about how long nicotine stays in their system tend to either be taking a test administered most often by an employer or for life insurance.

Test Types

In most cases, employers tend to use a urinalysis test to find out the amount (if any) of nicotine you have in you're system. Another test that can be used is a blood test. Blood testing detects much smaller amounts. There are also tests you can buy so that you can test yourself for nicotine at home. NicAlert is one type of test that uses your saliva to detect the amount of nicotine in your system.

Type of Smoker

ff you only smoke occasionally, meaning one to two cigarettes a day, the nicotine will most likely clear your system within 3-4 days. Others who smoke often or who have smoked for years may take longer to clear their system of nicotine. In these cases, plan on not smoking for 1-2 weeks.

Blood System

After the nicotine enters your body, it goes into your blood system. Your body converts the nicotine into another substance that is called cotinine. When you take a blood test, this is what they are measuring--levels of cotinine. A person's body doesn't pass blood through its system as quickly as urine passes through. This is why urine tests can be beneficial over blood tests..

Time Frame

The amount of time needed to get nicotine out of your body varies from person to person. An average person going through a urinalysis should quit smoking a good 20 days before completing the test. If you are having a blood test done instead, it's recommended to quit sooner than that.


Do not use any form of self-medication or cleansing treatments before receiving a doctor's consent. It's not a good idea to wait until the last minute to rid your body of nicotine. It will not work and you could further cause your body damage. If you have any further questions seek the advice of a health care provider.

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