Why test for nicotine at all?
Individuals are generally interested in how long nicotine stays in the system due to the fact that their employer wishes to check for nicotine, either as a condition of work, or more typically to determine the expense of health insurance.
As unreasonable as it appears, employers and insurance providers do not need to distinguish between cigarette smokers and users of nicotine in safer forms, like vaping or smokeless tobacco. Even using nicotine gum– which the FDA authorizes for long-term usage– can be treated as a health danger by companies.
Insurers consider the presence of nicotine a reputable indicator that the test subject is a tobacco user or a user of nicotine replacement treatment (NRT) products, which generally suggests an ex-smoker (and someone likely to go back to cigarette smoking, as more than 90 percent of NRT users do).
If you attempt to discover the responses to questions like, “How long does nicotine stay in your blood?” or “How long does nicotine remain in your urine?” beware that a lot of screening doesn’t even try to find nicotine per se. More on that shortly.
How long does nicotine remain in your body?
While there are tests to measure nicotine in the human body, it’s difficult to find in the blood after one to three days, or in the urine after four days. That’s why most companies and insurers no longer issue themselves with the length of time nicotine stays in your body.
Instead, they evaluate for a compound called cotinine, which is a metabolite of nicotine. Nicotine is become cotinine (metabolized) by the liver and remains detectable in the body for up to 3 weeks– though usually for about one week.
Blood testing is very accurate and can spot both nicotine and cotinine.
The length of time cotinine remains in your system can differ depending on your ethnic background, gender, medications taken in, and even your diet plan. Males normally maintain higher cotinine levels than females. As the science has actually advanced, suggestions on the “cut-points” (the levels above which the individual being checked is considered favorable for nicotine usage) has changed.
Various nicotine tests
There are a number of tests that can be utilized to measure cotinine levels. Blood testing is extremely accurate and can find both nicotine and cotinine. It’s also the most pricey and intrusive screening technique, so it’s less often used than the other approaches.
Certainly, drawing blood needs a trained technician and a see to a lab, which makes the process costly and cumbersome for both worker and employer. There are two kinds of blood tests for cotinine. One is a basic positive-or-negative step that doesn’t quantify the quantity determined. The other test can specify the level of the nicotine metabolite in the blood serum.
Saliva testing is the most delicate of the common screening techniques, and numerous labs and insurance companies have switched to saliva screening recently. The levels of cotinine that saliva tests have the ability to detect have to do with one-third as high as those in blood serum, and about one-fifteenth those in the urine. However, the most significant advantage of saliva screening is its ease for all worried.
Saliva testing for cotinine is often done by companies utilizing kits supplied by third-party laboratories. Generally, a swab of the individual’s mouth is done, and the swab is inserted into a self-sealing container that is then delivered to the lab. The outcomes are then gone back to the company or insurance company online or by phone. This is far more economical and lengthy than sending each staff member to a lab for blood screening
Urine includes greater levels of cotinine than blood or saliva, as much as 6 times greater. This makes it a better choice for finding low concentrations of cotinine. The test is reasonably easy too. A test strip is soaked in the urine sample for a couple of minutes, and it rapidly delivers a positive or unfavorable outcome.
Cotinine screening from hair samples is the most trusted approach, but likewise the most challenging, most costly, and slowest. Hair screening is sometimes purchased if the results of other tests are uncertain or in doubt. It’s also often used in scientific studies. The benefit for researchers studying smoking and nicotine is that hair samples can maintain cotinine for as long as 3 months.
Do all insurance providers test for nicotine?
Insurers frequently carry out nicotine (or, regularly, cotinine) tests for health insurance, however some also test for life insurance purposes. Some businesses are changing their standards now and allowing policyholders to vape or utilize smokeless tobacco and still be qualified for non-smoker rates. Some even permit cigar smoking without raising their rates.
If you’re in the market for life insurance, it may pay to look around and ask concerns about their policy towards reduced-risk nicotine use.
How can I prevent screening positive?
There is a range of items that declare to “cleanse the body” of nicotine (and other drugs) in a couple of days. Whether they do much of anything is doubtful. Many individuals being evaluated– other than heavy cigarette smokers– have a great chance of screening unfavorable after a week or two without nicotine, and the large bulk will check unfavorable after 2 weeks. So conserve your cash, buy some zero-nic e-liquid, and drink a great deal of water to flush your system.
In the future, we hope employers and insurers will acknowledge the difference in danger between cigarette smoking and safer kinds of nicotine use and stop penalizing vapers and snus users. On the other hand, your best bet if you know when you’re going to be checked is to merely stay away for 2 weeks or longer. If you’re in a safe task, think about talking about with your company why they should be encouraging cigarette smokers at your business to switch to low-risk nicotine products like vaping.
As the science has actually advanced, advice on the “cut-points” (the levels above which the individual being checked is considered favorable for nicotine use) has actually altered.
Blood screening is extremely accurate and can discover both nicotine and cotinine. The other test can specify the level of the nicotine metabolite in the blood serum.
Insurance coverage businesses frequently carry out nicotine (or, more typically, cotinine) tests for health insurance coverage, but some also test for life insurance coverage purposes. Numerous people being evaluated– other than heavy smokers– have an excellent chance of screening negative after a week or so without nicotine, and the vast bulk will test unfavorable after two weeks.