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(71,018 posts)
Tue Nov 24, 2015, 01:22 PM Nov 2015

anybody know how long nicotine stays in the system after quitting?

my quit date is dec 17, also should be my divorce date.
i need to get my own insurance after that. assuming i have 30 days. i want to be able to get non-smoker rate. i will quit. i have only been smoking for 2 years. but it is in my med records. my doc listed me as a former smoker, which she kinda had to do as i was having breathing issues related to smoking.
do i have to pass a pee test? i have an order on file for one, as i talked to a surgeon about getting my gall bladder removed, and he refuses to operate on smokers. i suppose that taking/passing that would help, as it would go on my record.

anyone have an experience w this?

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anybody know how long nicotine stays in the system after quitting? (Original Post) mopinko Nov 2015 OP
If it's in your records, it's in your records Holly_Hobby Nov 2015 #1
the surgeon said 2 months. mopinko Nov 2015 #2
8 hours: Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels Babel_17 Apr 2016 #3
thanks. mopinko Apr 2016 #4
I smoked for 25 years. Quit and 4 days later tested negative. Glassunion Sep 2016 #5
Message auto-removed Name removed May 2018 #6


(3,033 posts)
1. If it's in your records, it's in your records
Tue Nov 24, 2015, 04:32 PM
Nov 2015

I'm considered a smoker for life because I used to be and my doctor obviously knew. I quit in 2000, but everyone I see in my local medical establishment calls me a smoker because I vape and chew the gum. I guess nicotine is nicotine since they can't tell the difference between smoking nicotine and ingesting nicotine. I keep hounding them to take a chest x-ray and compare it to the one I had in 1997, which they have, then tell me I'm a smoker.

You'll be listed as a former smoker, which will offer you a very slight decrease in what smokers pay. This according to the helper who tried to sign me up for the ACA.

I do think it's 30 days and out of your system, unless you're losing weight at the time, because it's stored in fat cells. At least that's what my doctor told me. So pig out for the Holidays and good luck


(71,018 posts)
2. the surgeon said 2 months.
Tue Nov 24, 2015, 05:40 PM
Nov 2015

dont know if that has to do with getting a clean pee test, or just the effects of smoking.


(5,400 posts)
3. 8 hours: Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels
Tue Apr 12, 2016, 10:04 PM
Apr 2016

Within ...

20 minutes
Your blood pressure, pulse rate and the temperature of your hands and feet have returned to normal.
8 hours
Remaining nicotine in your bloodstream has fallen to 6.25% of normal peak daily levels, a 93.75% reduction.
12 hours
Your blood oxygen level has increased to normal. Carbon monoxide levels have dropped to normal.
24 hours
Anxieties have peaked in intensity and within two weeks should return to near pre-cessation levels.
48 hours
Damaged nerve endings have started to regrow and your sense of smell and taste are beginning to return to normal. Cessation anger and irritability will have peaked.
72 hours
Your entire body will test 100% nicotine-free and over 90% of all nicotine metabolites (the chemicals it breaks down into) will now have passed from your body via your urine. Symptoms of chemical withdrawal have peaked in intensity, including restlessness. The number of cue induced crave episodes experienced during any quitting day have peaked for the "average" ex-user. Lung bronchial tubes leading to air sacs (alveoli) are beginning to relax in recovering smokers. Breathing is becoming easier and your lung's functional abilities are starting to increase.
5 - 8 days
The "average" ex-smoker will encounter an "average" of three cue induced crave episodes per day. Although we may not be "average" and although serious cessation time distortion can make minutes feel like hours, it is unlikely that any single episode will last longer than 3 minutes. Keep a clock handy and time them.
10 days
10 days - The "average" ex-user is down to encountering less than two crave episodes per day, each less than 3 minutes.
10 days to 2 weeks
Recovery has likely progressed to the point where your addiction is no longer doing the talking. Blood circulation in your gums and teeth are now similar to that of a non-user.
2 to 4 weeks
Cessation related anger, anxiety, difficulty concentrating, impatience, insomnia, restlessness and depression have ended. If still experiencing any of these symptoms get seen and evaluated by your physician.
21 days
The number of acetylcholine receptors, which were up-regulated in response to nicotine's presence in the frontal, parietal, temporal, occipital, basal ganglia, thalamus, brain stem, and cerebellum regions of the brain, have now substantially down-regulated, and receptor binding has returned to levels seen in the brains of non-smokers (2007 study).
2 weeks to 3 months
Your heart attack risk has started to drop. Your lung function is beginning to improve.
3 weeks to 3 months
Your circulation has substantially improved. Walking has become easier. Your chronic cough, if any, has likely disappeared. If not, get seen by a doctor, and sooner if at all concerned, as a chronic cough can be a sign of lung cancer.
4 weeks
Plasma suPAR is a stable inflamatory biomarker predictive of development of diseases ranging from diabetes to cancer in smokers. A 2016 study found that within 4 weeks of quitting smoking, with or without NRT, that suPAR levels in 48 former smokers had fallen from a baseline smoking median of 3.2 ng/ml to levels "no longer significantly different from the never smokers' values" (1.9 ng/ml)
8 weeks
Insulin resistance in smokers has normalized despite average weight gain of 2.7 kg (2010 SGR, page 384).
1 to 9 months
Any smoking related sinus congestion, fatigue or shortness of breath has decreased. Cilia have regrown in your lungs, thereby increasing their ability to handle mucus, keep your lungs clean and reduce infections. Your body's overall energy has increased.
1 year
Your excess risk of coronary heart disease, heart attack and stroke has dropped to less than half that of a smoker.
5 years
Your risk of a subarachnoid haemorrhage has declined to 59% of your risk while still smoking (2012 study). If a female ex-smoker, your risk of developing diabetes is now that of a non-smoker (2001 study).
5 to 15 years
Your risk of stroke has declined to that of a non-smoker.
10 years
Your risk of being diagnosed with lung cancer is between 30% and 50% of that for a continuing smoker (2005 study). Risk of death from lung cancer has declined by almost half if you were an average smoker (one pack per day). Risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, esophagus and pancreas have declined. Risk of developing diabetes for both men and women is now similar to that of a never-smoker (2001 study).
13 years
The average smoker who is able to live to age 75 has 5.8 fewer teeth than a non-smoker (1998 study). But by year 13 after quitting, your risk of smoking induced tooth loss has declined to that of a never-smoker (2006 study).
15 years
Your risk of coronary heart disease is now that of a person who has never smoked. Your risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study - but note 2nd pancreatic study making identical finding at 20 years).
20 years
Female excess risk of death from all smoking related causes, including lung disease and cancer, has now reduced to that of a never-smoker (2008 study). Risk of pancreatic cancer has declined to that of a never-smoker (2011 study).


(71,018 posts)
4. thanks.
Wed Apr 13, 2016, 10:15 AM
Apr 2016

fortunately i was able to keep my cobra. that takes me to a couple of month shy of medicare.


(10,201 posts)
5. I smoked for 25 years. Quit and 4 days later tested negative.
Wed Sep 7, 2016, 07:43 PM
Sep 2016

They don't actually test for nicotine itself, but for Cotinine instead. It's a metabolite of nicotine... Stupid non scientific explanation is that the more nicotine you have, the more cotinine. Usually takes about a week of no nicotine for your levels of cotinine to drop to normal.

I've been cigarette free, but still tested positive because of the gum. There are additional test they can do to see if your using tobacco or a cessation product.

Response to mopinko (Original post)

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