How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Urine?


The short answer to this question is that nicotine itself does not usually appear in urine, metabolites such as Anabasine does. That being said, it only appears when your body has processed nicotine, so it is an indicator of nicotine use. Your urine can test positive for nicotine if you have smoked cigarettes, cigars; used snuff or chewing tobacco; or used nicotine replacement products such as nicotine gum, lozenge or patch.

There are several reasons you may ask, “how long does nicotine stay in urine?” You might want to know how long it takes for your body to process the nicotine. Because body systems are different from person to person, and nicotine is an addictive drug, it may take a longer or shorter time to process. The range is 48 to 72 hours depending on the amount of tobacco or NRT product you are using and how well your body is able to process the poison out of your system.

Many companies are testing for signs of smoking before a new hire. They will take a urine sample and test for many drugs, including nicotine, before your actual start date. If the drug test comes back positive, they may consider not hiring you. There are several reasons for this. Smokers tend to use more of the group’s health insurance benefits, making insurance premiums higher for the group as a whole. Some companies also test the spouses of employees as well.

Perhaps you’d prefer to get a non-smoking life insurance rates. Smoking life insurance rates are often half that of non-smoker rates, so the urge to do this is understandable. However, you should know that you may be charged with insurance fraud and you may lose the ability to make a claim. Occasional smokers, people that smoke a cigar once a month or less, if the test free of nicotine can get “preferred smoker rates.” These are still significantly higher than non-smoker rates, but are still lower than standard smoker rates. Once you’ve been nicotine free for 12 months, most companies will allow you to apply for non-smoker rates.

Quite simply, if you want your system to test free from nicotine, quit using nicotine. Talk to your doctor and develop a plan of action that addresses the social, emotional and physical reasons you smoke. Quit and you won’t have to worry about that interview, that insurance claim or the nicotine toxins affecting your body systems.


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