How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System (And Why)?

Exact Answer: 5 Days

Nicotine gets absorbed in the bloodstream when a person either smokes or chews tobacco. It also absorbs into the bloodstream due to cigarettes whenever second-hand smoke gets inhaled. After that, the liver dissolute the nicotine present into cotinine with the help of the enzymes present.

The amount of cotinine present in a person’s liver is proportionate to the amount of nicotine taken. They later get excreted through the kidney in the form of urine. Cotinine is a product derived from the breakdown of nicotine. It can get detected and found in the body only after two to three months of ingestion.

How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System


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How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?

System DivisionTime Period
In Urine3 To 4 Days
In Blood1 To 3 Days
In Saliva1 To 4 Days

The lifetime of nicotine is only two hours. It is considered the half-life of nicotine. Half-life is that period for half a dose to eliminate it from the body. Mainly, the cigarette we smoke contains nicotine which gets absorbed in our body through the lungs.

Sometimes it also gets absorbed by the membranes of the throat as well as the mouth. Other ways like chewing tobacco or using tobacco gum also help nicotine getting absorbed in the skin or gastrointestinal tract.

The metabolism of nicotine takes place in the liver but also in the lungs as well as kidneys. It is mainly excreted out of the body by Urine through Kidneys. The traces of nicotine can also be found in hair as well as saliva.

Cotinine present in your urine will always vary uniformly as it fairly depends upon the amount of nicotine consumed by the person on the daily basis. Nicotine can only be traced in a person’s urine within 1 to 3 days.


Traces of Nicotine can be detected with its metabolites, such as cotinine and anabasine. Nicotine is mostly traced in a person’s blood for the next two days but, cotinine is detectable till three weeks.

Samples of a person’s saliva are also tested to find the traces of nicotine for the next day. The cotinine stays for long which can be detected till the next seven days. Sometimes hair follicles are also being used for the detection of nicotine because it stays there for a long time.

Why Does Nicotine Stay That Long In Your System?

Cigarettes, snuff, chewing tobacco are tobacco products in which nicotine is found,  which is an addictive substance. Vapes E-cigarettes also contain nicotine. The influence of nicotine can’t be controlled, so its use is considered illegal if sold to a teenager under 18 years in the United States.

The body breaks nicotine down into various chemicals which mainly includes cotinine. It’s quite easy to track down cotinine from nicotine. Cotinine can only be tracked down if found the traces of consumed nicotine but stays more than nicotine.

The body absorbs nicotine rapidly. Nicotine gets in the body’s bloodstream when smoked and then makes its way to the brain that too within 20 to 25 seconds. Consumers of nicotine feel that relaxing vibe while smoking despite nicotine being a stimulant.

It keeps their nerves down although keeps on increasing the activity in the Central Nervous System (CNS). The effects of nicotine mainly depend on the way that the drug entered the body.


If this nicotine-based drug is made to chew or snort, it enters and releases in the body faster than smoking it. After it enters the body, the person starts feeling a sudden rise of adrenaline which shows a stimulating effect on that body.

It also shows effects by increasing the heart rate as well as the blood pressure. It also develops A chemical present in the brain which, is known as dopamine. Nicotine increases dopamine levels which makes for a relaxed mood and infuses increasing feelings of pleasure.


Nicotine stays hardly for 5 days in a person’s system. Nicotine can be easily traced in the person’s blood with the help of collected samples of urine, blood, hair, and saliva. The traces of nicotine is not a great sign for the person’s body.

Making its presence for such a long time is too dangerous. Nicotine is like a slow poison whose presence in a person’s body may not affect immediately but in the long run, it is proved too much hazardous. That’s why it’s advisable to stay away from nicotine.



Last Updated : 23 February, 2024

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