In case you have sought a job before, you might have been required to submit to a drug test. To make sure that employees can be trusted to safeguard confidential data or even the safety and well-being of everyone else, many private, state, and federal employers demand this testing.
However, were you aware that certain organizations, insurance providers, and other companies occasionally carry out nicotine tests to detect the substance present in tobacco products?
How is The Nicotine Test Conducted?
The substance produced after nicotine enters your body, cotinine, can be tested for in a few different ways:
- Quantitative testing: It basically calculates your body’s level of cotinine or nicotine. It reveals further about your tobacco use patterns. It can determine whether you still smoke and if you recently gave up. Additionally, the test can determine whether or not you have been inhaling a great deal of secondhand smoke if you don’t consume tobacco.
- Qualitative testing: It merely checks to see if there is nicotine staying in your system.
What Is the Test Trying to Find Out?
Normally, the nicotine tests check for cotinine and not nicotine. This is due to the fact that cotinine is so much steadier and stays in the body for way too long. You only would have cotinine in the body when you processed nicotine.
A urine or blood test may reveal cotinine. In order to extract the specimen for a blood test, a lab assistant will insert a needle into the vein. In case a urine test is required, you will provide a random sample of your urine, meaning the sample may be gotten at whatever time.
In case you have stopped utilizing tobacco and are currently utilizing a tobacco alternative product, you might need a test that checks for cotinine, nicotine, as well as anabasine, an ingredient that is present in tobacco but absent in nicotine alternative products.
In case your results turn out to be positive – which implies that the presence of anabasine has been detected in your system – that is an indication that you are still a tobacco user?
Anabasine is a substance that can only be detected through a positive test, which means you are still using tobacco. If you were only using nicotine alternative products, it wouldn’t be visible.
When and For What Reasons Are Nicotine Tests Required?
A cotinine or nicotine test may be required for a variety of reasons. Here are a few of the most typical ones:
- If a nicotine overdose is suspected by your doctor
- To obtain a job
- Prior to some surgeries
- In the process of obtaining life or health insurance
- Programs to help people quit smoking
- Court-ordered testing in cases involving child custody
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?
Immediately after you light up a cigarette, there is an increase in nicotine levels in your blood. However, the actual amount depends on both how much you inhale as well as nicotine levels in the cigarette. A person’s genetic makeup can also affect how they react to nicotine.
After quitting smoking, nicotine typically leaves your blood in 1 to 3 days, while cotinine does the same within 1 to 10 days. After 3 to 4 days of quitting tobacco products, you won’t be able to find any cotinine or nicotine in your urine.
Cotinine may remain in your urine for a longer period of time if you inhale passive menthol smoke or smoke menthol cigarettes.
The best method for detecting cotinine is thought to be a saliva test, which can do so for up to four days. For up to three months after you give up tobacco, hair tests can still be a highly accurate method for determining long-term nicotine use. Even after a year, nicotine can still be detected.
The Meaning of the Results
If your nicotine levels are mild, it’s possible that you smoked tobacco prior to the nicotine test but gave it up two to three weeks before.
Non-smokers who are exposed to tobacco smoke in their environment run the risk of testing positive for a trace amount of nicotine.
In case the nicotine test is unable to detect any cotinine in your body (or can detect only very small amounts), you probably don’t consume tobacco and have not yet inhaled any smoke from your surroundings, or you did consume tobacco once but you have not any nicotine or tobacco products for a few weeks.