Nicotine is one of the most addicting legal substances in the world. Millions of people struggle with smoking every day, and millions more will become addicted by the end of the year. One of the most important ways to kick the habit is to flush the drug out of your body. Knowing how long it takes and how to speed up the process will help you quit smoking fast.
If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
How Does Nicotine Get In The Body?
Nicotine gets in the body through the inhalation of cigarette smoke. Second-hand smoke contains only trace amounts of nicotine, if any. Once the smoke reaches the lungs, it is absorbed into the blood stream (as is oxygen) and distributed throughout the body. The body knows that nicotine is a toxic substance, and it will be metabolized by your kidneys. Nicotine is water soluble and will be flushed through your liver to be sent out through your urine. The amount of nicotine in each cigarette is approximately 1 to 2 mg.
- Nicotine gets in the body through the inhalation of cigarette smoke.
- Once the smoke reaches the lungs, it is absorbed into the blood stream (as is oxygen) and distributed throughout the body.
How Long Does It Stay In the Body?
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?
The major amount of the nicotine in each cigarette will be flushed out quickly through your urine. This quick flushing rate often leads to heavy smoking, as smokers keep going for their next hit. However, as the nicotine is pumped through your blood stream, it will end up sticking throughout your body. It should take 6 to 8 hours to get one full cigarette out of your body. However, if you are a heavy smoker, you will have much more nicotine in your body. Through years of smoking, nicotine will end up in your fat cells and throughout the rest of your body. Once you quit smoking, the majority of the nicotine in your body should be metabolized and out of your body in 48 to 72 hours 1. However, because nicotine sticks to your fat cells and other parts of your body, it can take longer to flush out entirely. Cotinine is a by-product of the burning of nicotine, and it can stay in your body up to 30 days.
- The major amount of the nicotine in each cigarette will be flushed out quickly through your urine.
- However, as the nicotine is pumped through your blood stream, it will end up sticking throughout your body.
How Do I Get It Out Faster?
Nicotine is like any substance that enters your body. It has to be metabolized. Therefore, any activity that increases your metabolism will help get nicotine and cotinine out of your body quicker. Starting an exercise routine would be a great way to speed up your metabolism to get the nicotine out. Exercising increases your heart rate, which increases your metabolism and the speed with which you burn calories. After years of smoking, it will be important to start a good exercise routine any ways. Also make sure to drink lots of water. As mentioned earlier, nicotine is water soluble, so drinking water will help flush out any lingering traces. Any vitamin C will help as well, as vitamin C speeds up your metabolism. Nicotine also tends to destroy vitamin C in your body, so replacing it will be important after you quit smoking.
- Nicotine is like any substance that enters your body.
- Therefore, any activity that increases your metabolism will help get nicotine and cotinine out of your body quicker.
How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System?
How to Remove Nicotine From the Body
What Are the Timeline Benefits of Not Smoking?
Vitamins for Smoking Detox
Dangers of Smoking While Wearing a Nicotine Patch
Effects to the Body 20 Minutes After Smoking a Cigarette
What Happens After 15 Days of Not Smoking?
Why Am I Exhausted Since I Quit Smoking?
The Effects of Nicotine on the Cardiovascular System
Vitamins That Help the Lungs After Quitting Smoking
- Nicotine Withdrawal and Recovery Symptoms: Why Quit
- Guide to Quitting Smoking: Cancer Org
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- American Cancer Society. Why people start smoking and why it’s hard to stop. Updated November 13, 2015.
- American Lung Association. What it means to be "nic-sick". Updated October 2, 2019.
- American Association of Poison Control Centers. E-cigarettes and liquid nicotine. Updated May 31, 2020.
- McLaughlin I, Dani JA, De Biasi M. Nicotine withdrawal. Curr Top Behav Neurosci. 2015;24:99-123. doi:10.1007/978-3-319-13482-6_4
Eric Benac began writing professionally in 2001. After working as an editor at Alpena Community College in Michigan and receiving his Associate of Journalism, he received a Bachelor of Science in English and a Master of Arts in writing from Northern Michigan University in Marquette.