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How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?

Detection Timetable Depends on Many Variables


Updated June 13, 2014

Written or reviewed by a board-certified physician. See About.com's Medical Review Board.

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Determining exactly how long nicotine is detectable in the body depends on many variables, including which kind drug test is being used. Nicotine - also known as cigars, cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, snuff, spit tobacco - can be detected for a shorter time with some tests, but can be "visible" for up to three months in other tests.

The timetable for detecting nicotine in the system is also dependent upon each individual's metabolism, body mass, age, hydration level, physical activity, health conditions and other factors, making it almost impossible to determine an exact time nicotine will show up on a drug test.

Nicotine Drug Tests Timetable

The following is an estimated range of times, or detection windows, during which nicotine can be detected by various testing methods:

Urine Test: 2-4 days
Blood Test: 2-4 days`
Saliva Test: 1-4 days

Nicotine, like like many other drugs, can be detected with a hair follicle drug test for up to 90 days.


American Association for Clinical Chemistry "Drugs of Abuse Testing." Lab Tests Online. Revised 2 January 2013.

LabCorp, Inc. "Drugs of Abuse Reference Guide." Accessed March 2013.

OHS Health & Safety Services. "How long do drugs stay in your system - including alcohol?." Accessed March 2013.

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