Answer For How Long Does Tobacco Stay In Your System

February 17, 2018

Veronica Phan

Answer For How Long Does Tobacco Stay In Your System

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Tobacco drug test is valuable for both health and insurance purposes.

Assumed that you are applying for a job when you have to fill in the application form with a drug test result- a policy that many private employers, state, and federal involvement to make sure that the employees have qualified health status for work, and even trustful for information security.

What can you do now to have a workplace? Stop using tobacco immediately. That’s the idealist thinking. But not all of you approves this proposal since this swap is a severe loss? Or even how to get rid of tobacco quickly will be revealed soon. That’s why answer for “how long does tobacco stay in your system?” can help you get away from obstacle in the job recruitment, as well as awareness of tobacco’s impact on your body.


Why do you need to know how long does tobacco stay in your system?

As mentioned before, knowledge about “How long does tobacco stay in your system?” can help you sneakily pass the enrolling step of the employers as they require a good health status. Even the fact that tobacco is legal, some companies highly appreciate that their employees are nicotine free.

On the other hand, there’s an increasing number in people who want to test nicotine level themselves for the more positive aim. For example, using nicotine and cotinine test to measure the process of giving up tobacco. It is also a praiseworthy way to evaluate your effort.

However, not all of them have enough time for nicotine and cotinine drug test via urine, blood. That’s why we analyze and edit “How long does tobacco stay in your system?” that can help you acknowledge about the duration, as well as the route of tobacco in your body. Through this way, hopefully, you are aware of tobacco’s effect on your health.

What is the measurement to know how long does tobacco stay in your system?

Unfortunately, tobacco contains a lot of chemical compounds and each of them reacts to our body in a different way and route. So how can you do the tobacco drug test? The answer is nicotine- an active ingredient contained in tobacco.

Nicotine is also known as an addictive substance which makes the individuals keep using tobaccos bypass the effort to quit smoking. After nicotine ingestion, dopamine concentration is higher in the nucleus accumbens. This process is thought to be the basis of addiction. Moreover, you can find out more data about HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET ADDICTED TO NICOTINE to understand more about the tobacco’s bad effect on your body.  

After entering the body by smoking, chewing tobacco, and even inhaling secondhand smoke from tobacco, nicotine- the active ingredient contained in tobacco is absorbed into the bloodstream to start its route.

From now on, nicotine is broken down into cotinine by the enzymes excreted in the liver then will be eliminated through the kidneys beyond the form of urine after that. Therefore, there are 2 substances which determine the level of tobacco in your body: nicotine and cotinine.

Moreover, cotinine is mostly used in detecting tobacco in the body because cotinine works more stable and stays in the body longer than nicotine does which is proved by the feature: nicotine exhibits the half-life of 2 hours whereas cotinine exhibits the half-life of 20 hours.

Cotinine can be detected in the body until 3 months after ingestion. That’s why science prioritizes to find the appearance of cotinine.

Where can you find nicotine and cotinine- the representatives of tobacco?

Urine, blood, saliva, and hair is the common location where you can find nicotine and its products- cotinine.

How long does tobacco stay in your system mostly depends on the way you ingest tobacco along with the frequency of using tobacco.

Let’s see the comparison below and read the content below and find out what the result of tobacco test means.


How long does tobacco stay in your system
Urine sample

Urine test for tobacco users shows up precisely the level of smokers. As mentioned before, immediately after tobacco ingestion, nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream then metabolized into cotinine.

The concentration of nicotine and metabolites determine whether the individual is still using tobacco or not. On the other hand, the level of cotinine is up to the dose and the hepatic metabolism which is known as genetically indicated.

In order to categorize the smokers, there are four groups corresponding with the appropriate urine test result which are people still use tobacco; people under abstinence in 2 weeks; non- smoker with passive exposure; and finally, non- smoker with no passive exposure.

Obviously, people who are using tobacco show the highest level of nicotine and cotinine in the urine. The concentration range of nicotine in up- to- now smoker is 1000- 5000 ng/mL while the concentration range of cotinine is 1000- 8000 ng/mL. [1].

With the smokers who are under abstinence in 2 complete weeks, the concentration of nicotine is less than 30 ng/ mL and cotinine is less than 50 ng/mL [1].

If the urine test result indicates that the nicotine and cotinine index is less than 20 ng/ mL, you are proved to be a non- smoker.


How long does tobacco stay in your system
Blood sample

Nicotine blood test is also known as Nicotine and Metabolites Blood test.

In order to test for the amount of nicotine and cotinine in the blood, a syringe of intravenous blood is prepared. However, serum and metabolites are the main characters here to test for the nicotine in your blood.

Nicotine blood test can be done in both qualitative and quantitative way.

For the qualitative test, a positive nicotine or cotinine blood test is able to determine the way of tobacco consumption which is active smoking and secondhand smoke.

People who are nicotine- dependent has the nicotine concentration reaching up 30 to 50 ng/mL. After being metabolized in the liver into cotinine, cotinine stays in the serum in the variety of 200 to 800 ng/mL but depending on the dose and hepatic metabolism [2].

For people who are applying abstinence displays both the nicotine and cotinine level less than 3 ng/mL.

For the non- smoker with passive nicotine exposure, the serum exhibits the accumulation of metabolites that take part in nicotine metabolism into cotinine. Nicotine level in the serum can arrive at 3 ng/mL while cotinine level is less than 8 ng/mL.


Saliva nicotine test is being raised as a non- invasive, quick and well- tolerated collection process as a number of saliva samples can be collected in a short duration.

There are a lot of saliva nicotine test equipment nowadays which usually include 2 parts, the saliva container and the place to read the test result.

The saliva cotinine ranges between 1 ng/mL and 30 ng/ mL is considered as the safe range for light smoker or passive exposure. In the active smokers, the cotinine level can also reach 100 ng/mL or even more [3].


Nicotine hair test is known as the most precise, reliable but also the most expensive, difficult and the slowest nicotine test. Nicotine hair test is required just in case the previous nicotine test result is suspicious.

How long does tobacco stay in your system?

As you know, tobacco which means nicotine and cotinine can present in the urine, blood, saliva, and hair. However, they are the locations which science can find the presence of nicotine and cotinine. It doesn’t mean that breastfeeding milk does not contain nicotine and cotinine.

Let’s move to the next content to find out “how long does tobacco stay in your system?” yourself and remind yourself about the influences of tobacco to your system.

Because tobacco can be detected through nicotine and cotinine, it would be perfect if you read HOW LONG DOES NICOTINE STAY IN YOUR SYSTEM? to know more about the nicotine trace in your system


The level of nicotine and cotinine stay in the urine can vary much depending on your smoking frequency, as well as the amount of tobacco you inhale.

Active smokers who use tobacco in the moderate or high frequency can be detected thanks to nicotine can stay up in the urine from one week to three weeks.  

On the other hand, cotinine continues to show up in the urine in 4 days indicates that the smoker sometimes uses tobacco.  


You can find the appearance of nicotine in your blood till 3 days after that last use of tobacco while cotinine can stay in the blood for 10 days, in fact.

Moreover, if you are under the therapies of acetaminophen which is also known as non- steroid anti-inflammatory in the antipyretic and analgesic drug, commonly or thiocyanate in antifungal drug, the positive result of using nicotine can be shown, even the fact that you are a non- smoker or passive exposure.

You can find more information about HOW LONG DOES NICOTINE STAY IN YOUR BLOOD about the lasting time of nicotine in your blood, as well as other problems relating to nicotine level in the blood, too.


Your oral fluid sample admits your smoking activity as cotinine remains in the saliva from 10 hours to 4 days.

Although being considered as a non- invasive, safe collecting method, saliva nicotine test cannot indicate an accurate level of smoker because of short- lasting time of nicotine and cotinine in the saliva.

Here is the full information about HOW LONG DOES NICOTINE STAY IN YOUR SALIVA we would like to suggest you to read to find out the lasting time of nicotine in your oral fluid.


The reason why hair nicotine test is the most precise and the most expensive test for nicotine user is nicotine can be found in your hair follicles in 3 months after the last exposure to tobacco.

Breastfeeding milk

Nicotine can remains in the breastfeeding milk in 10 hours after the last exposure to tobacco.

Smoking in the breastfeeding time is not good for both the baby and mom which can cause excessive crying, diarrhea and other health-related problem.

Do not smoke in the breastfeeding duration and also avoid secondhand exposure to tobacco are highly recommended.

What factors can change “How long does tobacco stay in your system?”  

The main purpose of nicotine and cotinine test is to determine the types of smokers: active smokers who use tobacco usually; people who are under abstinence of tobacco; passive smokers or also known as secondhand smokers; and finally non- smokers.

So the answer to “How long does tobacco stay in your system?” can change because of 3 head reasons here.

Unchangeable factors

Age affects nicotine and cotinine test as the older you are, the longer duration tobacco stays in your system.

Sex plays important role in deciding “How long does tobacco stay in your

system?”. It takes less time for women, especially women with higher estrogen level to metabolize nicotine into cotinine for the elimination through urine.

Liver Function determines the metabolism rate in nicotine transformation into cotinine, too.

The smoking frequency

Definitely, the more you use tobacco, the more amount of nicotine in your system will be transformed into cotinine. Then it takes more time for your body to eliminate cotinine leading to the consequence that cotinine remains longer in your system.

Health status

Not only liver but also kidneys play an essential role in the answer for “How long does tobacco stay in your system?” because cotinine will be eliminated through urine. Therefore, any kidney problem will affect the test result.

How can you eliminate tobacco from your body quickly?

Remember that the main point of knowing “How long does tobacco stay in your system?” is to achieve an acceptable nicotine test result which means the nicotine test shows that you are not a active and heavy smoker.

Therefore, we have edited a typical article about HOW TO GET NICOTINE OUT OF YOUR SYSTEM to help you attain a satisfied nicotine drug test for a job application or health insurance.


As you know that cotinine gets out of your body through kidneys in the form of urine; therefore, drinking more water helps to clear your body from nicotine and cotinine in the most relaxing and easy- going way.

How long does tobacco stay in your system
Drinking water


Exercise increases the metabolism rate in your body to get rid of tobacco in your body fast. Moreover, when you do the exercise, nicotine and cotinine can go out of the body with sweat.


How long does tobacco stay in your system
Fruit and Veggies

By repairing the damage which is caused by nicotine and reduce the nicotine withdrawal symptoms such as irritability, and sleeplessness, food, especially the food which are rich in antioxidant properties is necessary if you want to clear your body from nicotine quickly.

The citrus fruit such as orange, lemon, and a lot of other green veggies are our stars today in the ways to clear nicotine from your body.

Also, here are TOP 12 FOODS WILL FLUSH OUT NICOTINE FROM YOUR BODY we would like to recommend you for the most satisfied nicotine and cotinine test result.


Hopefully, after knowing about “How long does tobacco stay in your system?”, you can see the influence of tobacco in your system, as well as passing the nicotine and cotinine test requirement for a job application and insurance, also.

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