How Long Before Nicotine Is Out Of Your System?

Have you ever wondered how long before nicotine is out of your system? If you were a smoker and now you expect a baby, this may be one of the first questions that pop out of your head.

How Long Before Nicotine Is Out Of Your System

Table of Contents

About Nicotine

Nicotine is the most important alkaloid in tobacco leaves, Nicotiana tabacum species, American Nicotiana (Solanaceae) and Nicotiana rustica, originating in tropical America.

The name of tobacco comes from the Island of Tobago (archipelago of small islands) where is cultivated. American Indians practiced smoking and used to poison their arrows with tobacco juice. Historical data indicate that tobacco was offered to Columbus in 1492 when he arrived in Bahamas. Then, European seafarers brought tobacco seeds in Spain and Portugal and promoted the smoking habit that was taken from the American Indians.

In 1585, Jean Nicot, the French ambassador in Portugal brought tobacco to the Royal Court of Paris, the plant being named Nicotiana in his honor. The use of tobacco In Englands dates from 1565, and until the early 1600, tobacco has spread to the other European countries as well. – More info!

The consumption of tobacco was moderate until World War I, but then it drastically increased until the mid `60s. Data regarding the relationship between smoking and cancer was brought to the public`s attention in the early `60s, which resulted in a decline of this habit.

Nicotine in Organism

Just as with most addictive substances, people have found many ways of introducing this substance in the organism. Nicotine spreads rapidly by:

  • Skin.
  • Lungs.
  • Mucous membranes (like nasal mucosa and gums).

Nicotine is inserted directly in the small blood vessels that surround the tissues listed above. From there, nicotine travels through your bloodstream into the brain, and then is spread to the rest of your body.

The most common method (and fastest) of introducing nicotine and other drugs into your bloodstream is inhalation by smoking. Your lungs are surrounded of millions of alveoli, which are “small bags” of air, in which gas exchange occurs. These alveoli make available a huge area – 90 times larger than skin – allowing ample access of nicotine and other compounds. After entering the bloodstream, nicotine reaches the brain almost immediately. Despite the fact that nicotine produces numerous different effects in the body, the way it stimulates the brain is responsible for both the pleasurable sensations felt during smoking, as well as the irritability felt when trying to quit smoking. After 10 – 15 seconds after inhaling, most smokers are swept away by the effects of nicotine. – Click here!

Nicotine doesn`t remain in the organism for too long. It has a “life” of around 60 minutes, meaning that at 6 hours after smoking a cigarette, only cca. 0.031 mg from a milligram of nicotine remains in the organism. How it`s nicotine eliminated from the organism? This process involves the following:

  • Around 80% of nicotine is decomposed in cotinine by the liver`s enzymes.
  • Also, nicotine is metabolized in the lungs in cotinine and nicotine oxide.
  • Cotinine and other metabolites are excreted in urine. Cotinine exists for 24 hours, thus tests may reveal if a person has smoked today or in the last 2 days, if there`s found cotinine in an urine test.
  • The remaining nicotine is filtered from blood by the kidneys and excreted in urine.

Nicotine is metabolized in a different rhythm, depending on the person. Some people has even a genetic defect of liver enzymes, which decompose nicotine, due to which the mutant enzyme is a lot less efficient than the normal one in the metabolic process of nicotine. In case that a person has this gene, the level of nicotine in blood and brain remains high for a long time after smoking a cigarette. Normally, people continue to smoke cigarettes throughout a day to maintain a constant level of nicotine in the organism. Smokers who present this gene a lot less cigarettes, because they don`t feel a constant need of more nicotine.

How Long Before Nicotine Is Out of your System?

Generally speaking, from the moment you finished your last cigarette, the body needs 6 – 8 hours some of the nicotine and 2 – 3 days to eliminate the entire amount from the organism.

Studies show that a diet composed of fruits and vegetables rich in vitamin C accelerates metabolism, and nicotine is eliminated much faster from blood. – Read here!

In addition, another research show that adopting a healthy lifestyle has a positive impact on persons who want to quit smoking – fruits and vegetables consumed regularly make the taste of tobacco repugnant to a person who used to smoke.

Nicotine Withdrawal Timeline

If you want to go more in-depth on how your body reacts after giving up smoking, here are more details.

After 20 Minutes

The effects of quitting smoking start to be felt immediately. In less than 20 minutes, blood circulation is improved and heart rate returns to normal rates. – Check this out!

After 2 Hours

After 2 hours, the heart rate and blood pressure drop to normal levels. Peripheral circulation significantly improves, warming fingertips being the first sign of this improvement.

The symptoms of giving up smoking occur usually after 2 hours from the last cigarette. These are:

  • Increased appetite.
  • Anxiety.
  • Tension.
  • Frustration.
  • Trouble sleeping.

After 12 Hours

The level of carbon monoxide, which is toxic in large amounts, diminishes after 12 hours of quitting tobacco. This means that the oxygen level in blood increases, leading to a better functioning of the entire body.

After 24 Hours

The heart attack rate is 70% higher among smokers. It seems incredible, but just after 1 day from smoking your last cigarette, this risk start to decline.

After 48 Hours

Loss of senses, including smell and taste, is the main consequence of smoking. Fortunately, after only 48 hours from giving up cigarettes, nerves start to regenerate, and the ability of smell and taste improves.

After 3 Days

After 3 days, the nicotine from your organism is completely eliminated. Unfortunately, now you`ll feel the full effects of giving up smoking, which are:

To fight against these symptoms, offer yourself material rewards, like buying a shirt, lipstick or go out to a nice restaurant with your friends. – Read this!

After 2 Weeks

After a couple of weeks from giving up smoking, you`ll be able to exercise without feeling yourself tired. This is due to cell regeneration and blood circulation improvement. Also, the function of lungs improves and you can now breathe easier.

After 1 Month

One month after having your last smoke, your lungs start to regenerate and function better. You`ll breathe a lot easier and stop coughing.

After 1 Year

After 1 year, the risk of heart diseases is reduced to half. Blood circulation is strongly improved and you`ll no longer feel the need of smoking.

10 Foods that Flush Nicotine Faster

Smoking reduces the level of vitamins A, C and E, which protect the lungs and organism from infections and chronic diseases.

Despite all studies and warnings that prove how bad nicotine really is, people still choose to smoke and even some pregnant women.

It`s important to be known that there are some foods that help eliminate nicotine from the organism.


Broccoli contains a lot of vitamin B5 and C; vitamins from the B group regulating a lot of processes in the organism. This food is a good source of vitamin C and protects the lungs of toxins.


Oranges are also an excellent source of vitamin C, reducing stress and anxiety caused by nicotine addiction.


Spinach contains folic acid and vitamin B9, known foods to help removing nicotine from the human organism. Folic acid is very important not only during pregnancy, but also to fight withdrawal symptoms for addiction of nicotine, playing an essential role in emotional and mental health.


The acid from cranberries helps eliminate nicotine from blood faster. Nicotine increases the levels of blood sugar just like cranberries, therefore being great for replacing cigarettes and stop desires when trying to quit smoking.


Lemons represent another very good food against the effects of nicotine. If you smoke, nicotine stays in the organism for up to 3 days. The consumption of lemons is recommended to combat the negative effects when quitting smoking.


Eat carrots constantly to ensure your necessary intake of vitamins A, C and K. It will strengthen your immune system as well, which is a must during pregnancy. – Check here!


Smoking increases blood pressure, and decreases the level of oxygen from the blood, and these symptoms can be controlled with pomegranate. They improve blood circulation and help the organism to produce more red blood cells.

Wheat Germ

Smoking may lead to the thickening of blood vessels. Wheat germ is a great source of vitamin E, because it improves the elasticity of the circulatory system and reduces the risk of cardiovascular diseases. – Click here!


Kale is a natural source of antioxidants, which are very helpful in eliminating toxins and nicotine from the organism. Moreover, the lactic acid from kale cleans the colon, and sulforaphane fights against toxins.

Image courtesy of healthessential.net

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