Nicotine is instantly absorbed into the blood after smoking a cigarette or taking a long draw from an electronic cigarette. It is then filtered out of the body through urine.
Blood nicotine levels begin to decline within 2 hours, and can reach zero after 24 hours without nicotine intake. Traces of nicotine can still be detected in saliva and urine, though.
1. Drink Water
Nicotine dehydrates the body, so drink plenty of water to help rehydrate. Drinking water also helps the body clear nicotine out of the system more quickly.
Within a day of your last cigarette, your carbon monoxide levels drop to normal and your heart begins working more efficiently. In addition, your sense of taste and smell return to normal.
The type of nicotine used and how often you smoke affect how long it takes for the drug to leave your body. Light smokers clear nicotine faster than heavy smokers. Additionally, certain medications — such as antifungal or hypertension medicines — may slow down the body’s metabolism of nicotine.
If you are unsure about how to get nicotine out of your system, speak with a primary care doctor for more information. They can answer your questions and give you tips for quitting smoking. During your conversation, be sure to tell the doctor whether you smoke and the frequency of your use.
2. Eat Food
In addition to drinking water, eating a diet rich in antioxidants and fiber can help you eliminate nicotine faster. Try to eat fruits and vegetables that are high in antioxidants, such as many different types of colorful veggies, berries, squash, avocadoes, and other greens.
The body breaks nicotine down into many chemicals, including cotinine. The amount of cotinine in the body varies based on the type, frequency, and history of nicotine use, age, hormone levels, and medications taken.
Drinking water may help clear nicotine and its metabolites from the body through urine. Exercising can also increase the speed of clearance because the toxins are eliminated through sweat. Foods with antioxidants can also boost the metabolism rate, thereby helping you excrete nicotine faster. K Health articles are medically reviewed by MDs, PhDs, NPs, and PharmDs. This content is for general information only and is not intended to replace the advice of your doctor or other health care provider.
It takes about two hours for nicotine to be eliminated from the body after a person smokes a cigarette. It gets metabolized into cotinine by the liver and then excreted through urine.
Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant that increases heart rate and blood pressure, but people often experience feelings of relaxation. It also increases levels of a brain chemical that improves mood.
When you exercise, your body sweats and releases metabolic waste products like nicotine and cotinine through the skin. This helps to get rid of the substances from your system faster than just drinking water and eating food.
Other factors can affect how fast the body clears nicotine. Some medications—like phenobarbital (Luminal) and some antibiotics—speed up the way the liver processes nicotine. Women and pregnant women metabolize nicotine more quickly than men. The sex and age of the person also play a role. Young children and adolescents can excrete nicotine more slowly than adults.