The Truth About Nicotine
Nicotine is a natural chemical alkaloid produced by the nightshade family of plants. It is found predominantly in the tobacco plant and it is widely used as a stimulant and an antianxiety agent. It is also present in other common plants like tomatoes, potatoes, and eggplants, albeit, in a smaller ratio.
Nicotine is usually found in products with tobacco such as cigarettes, cigars, pipe products, most e-cigarettes, and wet and dry snuff. It is a highly addictive substance and if care is not taken, constant use of it can cause serious health problems including increased blood pressure and hardening of arterial walls, causing heart attacks.
There are various ways through which nicotine can be absorbed into the bloodstream, however, the two most common methods are by chewing or smoking of tobacco and by inhalation of cigarette smoke.
After Nicotine is absorbed into the bloodstream, several chemical reactions occur in the body system which helps to break it down, thereby forming different products like cotinine. Unlike Nicotine, cotinine has a prolonged half-life as it stays longer than nicotine in the body.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay In The System?
The half-life of a drug is important when considering how long a drug can stay in the body. The time it takes for a certain amount of drug active ingredients in the body to reduce by half is the half-life of a drug. According to research, the half-life of nicotine is about 2 hours.
Consumption of tobacco or nicotine-containing products causes the body to absorb up to 90% nicotine and this can stay for 2 hours or more depending on the frequency and quantity ingested and depending on which part of the body is used to measure it.
Nicotine stays up to four days in human urine, blood and saliva and can be detected up to 90 days in human hair.
Although the duration of nicotine in the system is different for different individuals; it may flush from the system quickly or might last for an extended period.
How Often You Smoke Or Use Tobacco Products Determines Your Risk
There are three different categories by which smokers can be classified;
Never Smoker: An adult that has smoked less than 100 cigarettes in their lifetime.
Someday Smoker (former Occasional Smoker): These are the adults who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime
Current Smoker: These are the adults who have smoked at least 100 cigarettes in their lifetime and smoke on a daily basis.
Body Composition And Genetics
Various factors are responsible for the metabolism of nicotine in the body and how long it takes to flush it out.
Factors such as:
Age: It takes a longer time to metabolize nicotine in elderly people.
Genes: According to research, it was suggested that Hispanic and Caucasian people metabolize nicotine faster than other genetic races.
Hormones: Generally, women have the ability to metabolize nicotine faster than men especially pregnant women.
Medications: Certain medications can also affect the rate at which the body metabolizes nicotine.