A 10-panel drug test cannot possibly identify the cotinine (nicotine’s main breakdown product) traces in your body. But a blood test or urine test in a lab might identify your tobacco usage easily. You need not panic. The traces may not stay in your system for more than 1 to 3 days if you are an occasional user. If you are a regular tobacco user, you will have to read this blog to know more about nicotine abuse and how to get past this and pass your drug test.
When and why are Nicotine tests ordered?
A standard drug test like a 10-panel drug test, does not identify nicotine. But if you are ordered to take a nicotine test, there are specific reasons. They include
- Court-ordered child custody case.
- Applying for insurance – Health
- Before surgeries
- Nicotine overdose suspicion by doctors
- Employment drug test.
What does the nicotine test look for?
Nicotine test does not look for nicotine. They look for Cotinine and Anabasine, which are the metabolites produced in your body if nicotine enters your body. The metabolites will help you to metabolize the nicotine and flush it out of the body. Anabasine is typically found in tobacco and nicotine replacement products. So, if you have quit tobacco, the tester might suggest you a test for cotinine and anabasine. If you test positive for anabasine, the tester will determine that you are still using tobacco products and might fail your nicotine drug test.
How long can Nicotine stay in your system?
There is never an exact answer to this, as this may differ based on your metabolism, the type of test you undergo, and frequency of intake. Normally, if you are an occasional smoker, cotinine can be found in your system at the interval of 2 to 10 days. If you are a regular smoker, then there are chances that the cotinine may stay in your system for nearly three weeks to 3 months based on the test you face.
Urine drug tests – 4 days to 3 weeks from your last exposure. If you get into secondhand smoke, there are chances that nicotine may stay in your urine longer.
Blood test – 1 to 10 days from your last usage.
Saliva drug tests – Nearly 4 to 7 days from the last usage.
Hair follicle drug test – up to 90 days from your last exposure.
Standard drug tests like the 5-panel or 10-panel drug test do not identify nicotine and alcohol abuse, but organizations may conduct drug-specific tests on necessity. You can clear your nicotine drug test by keeping yourself away from taking tobacco products.