How Long Does Nicotine Stay In Your System?


Looking at the science of nicotine, we cover how long nicotine takes to leave your system as well as how nicotine is absorbed into the body.


How Nicotine is Absorbed into the Body


Each time you use a nicotine pouch, use another nicotine product or inhale secondhand smoke from a cigarette, nicotine is absorbed into your bloodstream and the nicotine receptors kick in. The enzymes in your liver then break nicotine into cotinine - the more nicotine you use, the higher the amount of cotinine. Cotinine is the product that is used to tell if someone has been using or come into contact with nicotine, and is what most nicotine tests search for.


How Much Nicotine is Absorbed from Nicotine Pouches?


Studies have suggested that over the time you use your nicotine pouch, you only absorb around 30% of the nicotine that is in the pouch. This means, for example, if you use a 6mg nicotine pouch, you are absorbing around 2mg. 


How Long Does it Take for Nicotine to Leave Your System?


It is possible to speed up the process of expelling nicotine from your body. Try to drink more water, increase your physical activity and consume antioxidant-rich foods such as oranges and carrots.


Usually it takes 1 to 3 days after you stop using nicotine pouches for the nicotine to leave your blood system and around 10 days for cotinine (a chemical formed after the nicotine enters the body) to leave the body. However, these numbers are averages, as there are many factors that impact how long nicotine stays in your system including:


  • Age – It generally takes longer for older adults to expel nicotine.
  • Genes – Studies¹ suggest that Caucasian and Hispanic people may metabolize nicotine more quickly than Asians and African Americans.
  • Hormones – Women¹ tend to remove nicotine more quickly than men, especially women who are pregnant or taking birth control.
  • Medication – Certain medications are capable of speeding up nicotine metabolism, while others, such as high blood pressure medication, can slow it down.
  • History of use – Nicotine accumulates in the body. The more you consume it, the longer it will take to leave your system.
  • Liver function – The liver metabolizes nicotine before it is excreted through urine. The rate at which your liver can break down nicotine will differ for every person, as some people metabolize more quickly than others.


How Long Nicotine Stays in Your Blood


Nicotine levels can often be measured in both the blood, but cotinine is usually what they test for as it has a longer half-life, meaning it stays in the body longer. It can be hard to tell exactly how long nicotine stays in your blood system, as each person is different, but according to research it can nicotine can stay in the blood stream for around 3 days. You can identify nicotine in the blood using tests can detect nicotine and cotinine. 


How Long Nicotine Stays in Your Saliva


How long nicotine stays in your saliva is similar to how long it stays in your blood. It can be hard to tell exactly how long nicotine will stay in your saliva, as of course this will vary from person to person, but research suggests it takes around 3 days for nicotine to no longer be detectable in your saliva.


How Long Nicotine Stays in Your Urine


A large majority of nicotine tests are done using urine, as this shows a higher concentration of cotinine than either saliva or blood. This essentially means that the cut off level for detection in blood is shorter than the cut off time for detection in urine - with some studies suggesting nicotine stays in your urine for up to 20 days.







  • Nicotine is a stimulant and a highly addictive alkaloid that is naturally present in the nightshade family of plants or can be manufactured synthetically.

  • Yes, Nicotine can be absorbed through your fingers and lips, as well as via inhalation, ingestion, skin contact, and through mucous membranes (like the ones in your mouth). 

  • Yes, you can absorb nicotine through your skin.
  • The amount of time ZYN stays in your system will depend on several factors, but on average the nicotine in ZYN stays in your system around 3 days.

  • Studies have suggested that you only absorb around 30% of the nicotine that is in a nicotine pouch such as ZYN. This means, for example, if you use a ZYN 6mg nicotine pouch, you are absorbing around 2mg.
  • Nicotine is metabolized by enzymes in the liver.