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How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?

How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?

Nicotine is a dangerous chemical inside of cigarettes which is primarily used to create addiction. For those wanting to quit, it is important to know how long that nicotine will remain in their system, as that can give them a good idea of how soon they will start to suffer severe withdrawal symptoms.

When nicotine levels lower, such as several hours after the last cigarette, cravings for the next one can start. Once all nicotine is removed from the body’s systems, more powerful withdrawal symptoms will begin.Side effects of nicotine on the human body

When a person stops smoking, nicotine will start to disappear from their body. Once that happens, they will eventually lose all remnants of nicotine out of their system. For some, that process can take as little as three days. For others, it can take up to three months. It all depends on how much nicotine a person absorbed, how long they had been using nicotine and what measures they are taking to get rid of nicotine.

It is also important to note that once nicotine goes into the body, most of it becomes cotinine. This is a slightly different chemical, but it has basically the same effects. Both the nicotine and cotinine have to be removed from the body for that person to be truly nicotine free.

There are a few ways that a person could speed up the process of cleansing their body of these chemicals. The easiest way is to drink plenty of water. This flushes out the system and gets rid of many toxins within the body. Additionally, foods and drinks that are full of antioxidants (berries, juices, etc.) can help to purge the body’s systems as well.

People can also exercise, which helps improve their body’s immunity and resistance to negative effects. It allows their body’s systems to work faster and stronger, pushing out toxins at an accelerated rate.Nicotine

How quickly all of this works will depend on the kind of diet a person has, how active they already are and what kind of effects nicotine has already caused to their body.

Nicotine penetrates different areas of the body, particularly the blood, urine, saliva and hair. There are actually individual tests for each of these areas of the body that tests how free said area is of nicotine. Each portion of the body drains of nicotine at different rates. So while nicotine may be expelled from the blood in as little as a day after a person quits smoking, it may take as long as 15 or 20 days for it to be expelled from the urine. Once again, these times will vary depending on a variety of factors, most of which have to do with how long a person has been smoking.

Those trying to remove nicotine from their system should keep in mind that the effects are long lasting, and cravings and withdrawal symptoms may last as long as three years. That is why so many people fail to quit smoking completely.

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20 Responses to "How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?"

  • Mary Claassens
    August 22, 2016 - 7:30 pm Reply

    Second time around,the last time I lasted 3 years..Now I’m on my 8th day

    • Mo
      August 27, 2016 - 10:35 pm Reply

      Good job. You can do it!!! I’m on day 5

    • Kim
      August 28, 2016 - 5:26 pm Reply

      Day 3 for me. The longest quit I’ve had in the past is 10 months. I’ve quit more times than I can count.

    • Margaret
      October 5, 2016 - 11:33 pm Reply

      Keep going don’t give up

  • Sid
    August 27, 2016 - 4:22 am Reply

    I quit smoking cigarettes 11 days ago and have Been on a vapor pen 0/0 mg. of nicotine for 5 days…💪💪💪💪 I smoked for 35 years and it’s hard. Specially right now that my boyfriend went to balcony yo smoke a cigarrete. Help me!!!! I need to to be nicotine free for a surgical procedure and because I’d like to use this opportunity to quit for good!!!

    • Joy
      November 10, 2016 - 3:17 pm Reply

      Quit 6 days ago, using a pen. It’s not easy but hoping for a good outcome. I’m looking to quit for good as well!! Good Luck!

  • Hallie
    September 1, 2016 - 11:56 am Reply

    Today will be the 1st day and I’m scared to life

  • Rose Poirier
    September 2, 2016 - 1:52 am Reply

    I’ve also quite smoking after 40yrs. 1st day help! It’s so hard.

    • Dancing
      November 23, 2016 - 4:05 pm Reply

      I smoked 40 years and am coming up on my 4 year mark! You can do this!

  • Jan
    September 2, 2016 - 7:50 pm Reply

    I’m now 67 and have smoked around 50 years…
    The generic patches really work. Tried a yr ago and lasted a month. Trying again with only using 2weeks of the patches. Now it’s been 6 weeks today-YIPEEEEE! I’m surprised how easy it has become. The cravings come but go away quickly maybe 4 times during the day, they last only a few minutes. Just think of other things. Suck and breathe through a straw (a thought). My breathing has become so much better. Was really worried about black specks in phlem I coughed up… good ol’ internet
    says it is tar dislodging from lungs – ISH! Oh well, at least it’s leaving the ol bod! That lasted a couple of weeks now has stopped.
    When you get a craving do something or think of something else. If I can do it –


    • Maggie
      November 14, 2016 - 4:10 pm Reply

      I’m on day 3 and I had hoped it would be better than day 1, but it seems to be worse. But I have smoked for 40 years, so I guess it is to be expected. Jan – you inspire me. You made it to 6 weeks and are expelling junk from your lungs. Surprised that after 6 weeks, you still get urges.
      OH – Boy! I really need to quit – COPD, but even having that – it is still such a struggle. So hard!

  • Tara
    November 10, 2016 - 1:54 pm Reply

    It sure is hard but good for you all, it’s day 9 for me. 😊 I had quit for nine years after I found out I was pregnant with my first born. Never looked back but picked up after I separated with my husband 13 years later. Been smoking for five cents and I just woke up one day and thought screw this filthy habit I started it years ago when I was a teenager thinking it was cool and got stuck fighting this battle all of my life. It’s only nine years of a break and freedom from it. Well going to the gym and then lighting up after is counterproductive and I’m tired of the expense my children want me to stop. So I am and on Zyban and it’s certainly taking off the edge. But also prayer is helping me through to asking God to take this for me. Good luck to all. 🙏

  • Wendy
    November 11, 2016 - 4:05 pm Reply

    I’ve smoked for 48 years…YIKES! I’m a serial-quitter, the longest time lasting 2-1/2 years. That was the first time I quit, and I swear, the hardest. No patch back then except by prescription. I switched to little bandits (chew)…and started to like them a LOT, which horrified my husband. (He did not want a ‘chew spitting’ wife. Go figure.) Finally, I kicked the habit…but went back after 2-1/2 years. From there, I tried quitting multiple times, at least once or twice a year. Sometimes it would last a month, sometimes a week, and occasionally six months…and I’ve gone through every viable crutch. The patch, the gum, the vape E-cig, the little white pills you must take with food (can’t remember the name), and Wellbutrin (which I’m staying on, smoking or not, and it definitely diminishes the desire for a cig. But I’m done with all the other crutches because I want the nicotine out of my system for good. I say all this, sure, because I’m only on day two…white knuckling it, but determined.

  • Sarah
    November 11, 2016 - 5:12 pm Reply

    I’m about to quit tomorrow, cold turkey. I’m honestly nervous about the side effects. This is one of many, many times I’ve tried quitting but definitely the last time because I’m done with smoking. The funny thing is I hate smoking but I hate the process of quitting. It’s miserable but the end result will be worth it.

  • Candice
    November 11, 2016 - 6:36 pm Reply

    I am on 2 weeks the cravings do come and go but very quick. Try changing other habits. I associated my morning cup of coffee with my first cigarette. Now I shower first and drink a glass of water, then I can drink my coffee with no cravings. You can do it.

  • Honey
    November 13, 2016 - 12:31 am Reply

    18 days in and I’m chewing the heck out this gum..

    • Savonna
      November 21, 2016 - 5:41 pm Reply

      Lol, I am proud of you!!! I am starting my journey today! I smoked off and on since 1989, when I met that jerk that introduced me to that demon. This is my first day and I am experiencing cravings but I am going to quit to enjoy my life. I will be 50 on December 18th and I am just tired of smoking. I started my weight loss journey January 23, 2016 and I was weighing 184 and now I am at 124!!! Feeling Kk about it !!! My dentist said last week he never Knew that I smoke until I told him!!! He said proud of wght loss but stop smoking is more important than weight loss!!! My feelings were hurt!!! I suffer from anxiety and soon as I light a cigarette the anxiety kicks in and ruins my day!!!! I am ready to get in the gym and body build ready to say bye to another bad habit!!!! Let’s all do this together!!! Think of your health and get rid of the negative distorted thoughts that plaque your mind!!!! Think of the benefits and the money you save!!! I responded to your post because my BFF quit ten years ago and said the same phrase about the chewing gum!!! Happy Holidays and God Bless all!!!

  • dee
    November 13, 2016 - 7:23 pm Reply

    What can you sho tho stop

  • David
    November 23, 2016 - 2:48 pm Reply

    Day 14 and it’s getting easier. I used the patch for the 1st 4 days. Already, my morning cough went away. It’s amazing!! Smoked all my life and I’m almost 60y/o. Never thought I could do it.

  • a.ingrassia
    November 28, 2016 - 5:23 pm Reply

    first off…i do wish the industries would change the head set to STOP and abandon the use of the word QUIT…i believe “quit” was LONG AGO instilled by the psycho-savvy tobacco ad agencies because while the dictionary meaning is accurate, the word quit is associated more with failure and anti-survival. I smoked for 35 years and quit many tomes…over a decade has passed and i can say i STOPPED once. I found it VERY helpful to SLOWLY go through “the ritual” in my mind…I’d picture myself to…pick up the pack…remove a cigarette…put it between my lips…get a light…strike a flame…put the flame to the cigarette and frankly, by that slo-mo time, i did NOT want to actually smoke! I was lucky and never looked back since. If you are seriously committed to knock off the butts…STOP THINKING quit and START THINKING TAKE CONTROL & STOP…STOP…STOP!!! I hope this is helpful to even just one person! Good luck to you all!

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