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.
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. Unlike alcohol, nicotine stays longer in the system and also can be detected for during nicotine testing for extended periods of time.
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.
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.