How Long Does Nicotine Stay in Your System

Most of us vapers don’t think much about what happens to the body after we take in a pull-off of our device. The nicotine hits us, we feel satisfied, and we put our device down until we start desiring some more. But, after that vapor has made its way in and out of the lungs, nicotine remains in the system for a little while – in fact, longer than most would expect.

Now, this doesn’t matter to the average person, but some people do get tested for nicotine, in which case there may be more of an urgency to know where they stand. 

What is Nicotine?

Nicotine is the addictive compound in tobacco that provides feelings of satisfaction to the user. Nicotine by itself is not known to cause harm to the body – it’s the other various chemical compounds in cigarette tobacco that are associated with dangerous health effects. E-liquids contain nicotine, but it’s a purified nicotine isolated from the tobacco plant’s remaining chemical composition.

What Happens When You Consume Nicotine?

When the body consumes nicotine through inhalation, as when they vape, the nicotine enters the bloodstream almost immediately before entering the brain to affect the nervous system. Inhalation is a very effective delivery method in general since the tissue of the lungs allows compounds that are inhaled to enter the more quickly than, say, compounds that are ingested.

Once nicotine does enter the bloodstream, the nervous system is affected, and physiological changes occur that make a person feel satisfied. Many people say that nicotine helps them feel more relaxed, more focused, and more uplifted. 

Now, the acute effects of nicotine are only present for about 30 minutes. A person can generally go up to 4 hours before a craving for more nicotine begins to get severe, however. 

Keep in mind, also, that the type of nicotine you’re vaping can matter. Salt-based nicotine, found in pod systems and disposable vapes, generally affects people much more quickly and potently than freebase nicotine, associated with sub-ohm systems. Salt-based nicotine likely wears off a little more quickly as well.

The Metabolization of Nicotine in Your System

So, let’s say you use nicotine products. How does nicotine metabolize? Once the nicotine is wearing off, it enters the liver, where metabolites begin the process of breaking it down so that it can start clearing out of the system. It’s excreted in the urine, by the kidneys, with the pH of an individual’s urine determining what percentage ends up getting reabsorbed.

What is the duration of nicotine's presence in your system?

Now that you know the basic process of consuming and metabolizing nicotine, let’s discuss what this could mean if you’re being tested. Nicotine can be detected through three different means: in a person’s blood, in a person’s saliva, or a person’s urine. 


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