How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System ?


If you’ve recently quit or are considering quitting the nicotine habit, there are some facts that may be helpful for you to know. Both smoking and chewing tobacco puts nicotine directly into the systems of your body where it can have damaging effects upon your health. After you quit, positive changes begin to occur as the nicotine slowly leaves your system. We’ve provided a breakdown of how quickly nicotine leaves your system and the benefits of quitting now.

© Hayati Kayhan -
© Hayati Kayhan –

Nicotine in the blood stream

Nicotine enters the blood stream and causes the user to feel more relaxed when taken slowly, while it also has a stimulant effect that can be a motivator to get going and get things done, for example when smokers hurry their regular dose of nicotine. This is a part of the psychological and physiological dependence that forms. After quitting, you may notice the absence or motivation and relaxation both. The stimulant effect is immediate and although it enters the blood stream quickly, it takes much longer to leave. This is one of the factors that makes nicotine highly addictive. After quitting, nicotine begins to gradually decrease within one to three days, depending on the duration and intensity of consumption, but the byproducts of nicotine consumption may be present in the blood for up to ten days.


Hazards of nicotine in the blood

Nicotine in the blood stream lowers to oxygen content which is needed for healing to occur. Smoking can slow down the healing process when you’ve had a surgery or injury to the body. This is why physicians recommend cessation of nicotine several weeks in advance of surgery.


Nicotine in the urine

Nicotine is partly converted into cotinine in the body. Cotinine,the byproduct of nicotine can remain present for three to four days in urine, as detected by the most popular tests. In some instances, it can remain present for up to 20 days, and the likelihood of it showing up longer is increased when menthol cigarettes are smoked.


Nicotine in saliva

Nicotine can be detected in saliva for approximately ten hours. Cotinine can still be detected for up to 4 days after the last nicotine product is consumed into the body.


Nicotine in hair

Nicotine can be detected in the hair for up to a year after cessation of smoking. This is a long time, compared to other parts of the body’s system.


Clearing nicotine from the body

There are steps you can take to help nicotine to clear from your body faster. First, drink plenty of water to help flush it out. Next, put your body’s metabolism to work in helping you rid yourself of nicotine. When you eat lots of fruits and vegetables, you are consuming antioxidants which are nature’s detoxification agents. This will also help in guarding your body from unwanted viruses and other illnesses. Also, egg yolks, garlic and onions are healthy foods which increase the production of liver bile which is also a good way to remove toxins from the system. Exercise also helps you to sweat the toxins out of your system. By adding all of these things to your daily regimen you will speed the detoxification of your body and in addition, will form healthy habits to keep your body stronger and healthier.



Nicotine is a highly addictive substance that is easier to begin than to quit. Withdrawals are difficult for many, however, following a plan to help clear nicotine quickly from the systems of the body will help to alleviate these symptoms.

While nicotine and it’s byproduct cotinine will still be detectable in blood, urine, saliva and hair testing, the levels decrease dramatically right after cessation. The negative impacts that nicotine has had upon your body will being to decrease will the nicotine levels. In as little as just 10 hours to 4 days after cessation, it clears from the saliva. Within one to three days, for many it will clear the bloodstream. For others, this may take several weeks. Your urine will clear in three to twenty days, and lastly, the traces will be gone from your hair in a few months to one year.

If becoming nicotine free is your goal, it is highly attainable. Just follow the steps listed above and you will be on your way to having a cleaner system with a stronger immune system for warding off illnesses, and the ability to spring back from injuries and heal faster.


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