Exploring The Question – How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System

Throughout the years, cigarettes have been there and done that. They just don’t go away, regardless of the governmental regulations placed on the tobacco industry. This has resulted in a lot of consumers getting hooked on tobacco and nicotine, which is definitely a drug. Before you smoke a cigarette or dip tobacco, it is vital learn about the half-life of nicotine and learn exactly how long it’ll remain in your system. Below, you will learn all about nicotine and the drug’s impact on your body.

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is the active ingredient in various tobacco products. In recent years, it has become an integral ingredient of electronic cigarettes and the like. Many experts consider it to be a drug and it is very addictive. So, what is it exactly? Well, this chemical comes in two forms. It can be colorless or it might be yellowish. When used in small dosages, the drug acts like a stimulant. In larger doses, it actually blocks the behaviors of the skeletal muscle cells and autonomic nerves.

In some situations, nicotine is actually used as an insecticide.

Nicotine Addiction

Contrary to thought, nicotine is a very addictive chemical, even when chewed, dipped, or smoked. Most tobacco users will work diligently to combat their addiction, but they find it nearly impossible to reach their goals. This very powerful stimulate is classified as a free radical, since it increases an individual’s risks of lung carcinoma.

Many smokers will opt for the electronic cigarette over the tobacco cigarette, since the e-juice does not contain tar products. They feel their risks of lung diseases are lowered drastically, if they go this route, but many studies have shown these electronic cigarettes still hold many dangers.

Nicotine Side Effects
The After Effect Of A Nicotine High

If you are a veteran smoker, you most likely have experienced many adverse side effects of nicotine. While many individuals will ignore these symptoms, others will find them very bothersome. Nicotine side effects include:

  • Increases and thickens respiratory mucus
  • Increases blood pressure levels
  • Diarrhea
  • Decreased appetite
  • Increases digestive motility
  • Increases perspiration
  • Anxiety/depression
  • Night terrors
  • Restlessness/irritability
  • Insomnia
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Again these side effects may plague some users more than others.

Half-Life Of Nicotine

In order to understand how long does nicotine stay in your system, it is vital to learn about the half-life of nicotine. The half-life of the substance will tell you how long half of it will remain in your system. Half-life has a half of approximately 1 to 4 hours. Each individual consumer will experience a different half-life, which is based on a variety of different factors, including age and metabolism. It should also be known that the amount of tobacco smoked could also impact this significantly.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your Blood

Before consuming tobacco, it is vital to learn how long the nicotine will remain in your blood stream. When consuming nicotine, you should know that the chemical will actually metabolize into cotinine inside of the body. Typically, nicotine will remain in the blood stream anywhere from 1 to 3 days. This is universal, whether you smoked tobacco or used smokeless tobacco. Of course, the cotinine can remain in the system for a period of 1 to 10 days. Again, this will vary based on a number of different individualistic factors.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay In the Urine?

It has been determined by medical experts that cotinine can be detected in the urine for 20-25 days at the most, but the kidneys are completely free of nicotine within 48 hours, after the last use. It is important to note that nicotine constricts or narrows the blood vessels, upon intake. The blood vessels will return to normal size within 20 minutes after use.

The vasoconstriction side effect will definitely have repercussions for the entire body and brain. You may experience a light euphoria, when you take your first puff, but as the chemical begins to wear off, you may find a downturn in your mood. This can be very frustrating for someone that suffers from depression or anxiety, so be sure to keep this in mind, before you start using nicotine products.

Nicotine and Saliva

While many tobacco users do not think about the nicotine content in the saliva, the levels are extremely high during and immediately after use. Of course, the levels drop gradually over an eleven-hour period, but can still be detected in the saliva for up to 5 days. If you are a chain smoker, you will always have nicotine in your saliva. Nicotine can potentially cause a decrease in saliva production, which will lead to dry mouth.

Health Risks

Of course, nicotine can increase your risks for lung cancer, but it can also lead to cardiovascular disease. These very serious health risks are something that you should consider, when smoking a tobacco pipe, chewing, or dipping snuff. In order to decrease these risks, you will be forced to halt the use of nicotine. This will not be an easy task, but if you take advantage of nicotine patches, gum, and nasal sprays, you will find it much more doable.

Alternatives Of Cigarettes

There are many individuals that fully understand the dangers and risks of nicotine. This has resulted in many taking steps to breakaway from the medication. With this in mind, it is absolutely essential to explore the alternatives to cigarettes. Many individuals have been able to successfully withdraw from cigarettes, by using one or more of the alternatives listed below.

Hypnosis : Many individuals might laugh at the idea of undergoing hypnosis, but it can actually be very effective. When going through this type of treatment, your psychological state will be altered to help make your mind more susceptible to change. This can prove to be an excellent way to overcome a tobacco addiction.

Acupuncture : Many consumers have undergone acupuncture for one reason or another. This form of treatment has been utilized for thousands of years for various purposes. Some believe that is can effectively kill off nicotine urges.

Electronic Cigarettes : In the past few years, electronic cigarettes or e-cigarettes have grown increasingly popular. Some have used these alternatives, as a way to break free of their nicotine addiction. Although some of these products do contain nicotine, some do not! Be sure to choose a nicotine free e-cigarette for this purpose.

Nicotine Gum : Although nicotine gum contains nicotine, it can still help you break away from harsher products, such as cigarettes and smokeless tobacco. The gum can help you slowly pull away from the drug, until you’re ready to escape its clutches completely.

Withdrawal Symptoms

Although withdrawing from nicotine is fairly easy, when compared to other medications, it still comes with some negative side effects. These will be listed below for your consideration.

  • Constant thoughts of smoking and tobacco
  • Cranky and mood changes
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue
  • Lack of focus
  • Headaches and a cough
  • Dry mouth and sore throat
  • Gas and constipation

Although these symptoms aren’t necessarily dangerous or life threatening, they can still be very frightening and annoying. Make sure that you’re prepared to face these head on, before attempting to break free of nicotine.


At the end of the day, nicotine is dangerous and should not be consumed regularly. Make sure that you stay away from nicotine, because it is not worth the risks. If you’ve become addicted to the drug, you should make sure to breakaway from it, as quickly as possible, by using one of the effective alternatives.

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The team is composed of doctors and few students in their final year of medicine who have decided to popularize and share their knowledge.