Various diseases including heart diseases, lung cancer, respiratory diseases, COPD and so on are seen in nicotine users. Therefore it is necessary to conduct nicotine tests on smokers to avoid further addiction. Various types of nicotine tests are conducted by employers, insurance companies, and other organizations. Urine, blood, hair, and saliva tests are conducted for nicotine testing.
Cotinine test with urine detects the concentration levels of cotinine. Cotinine is a metabolite of nicotine. Urine tests can detect cotinine for four days after consumption. Cotinine is only tested in urine because the half life of other metabolites is lesser when compared to it. The cut off concentration of urine test for nicotine is 200ng/ml.
Blood test also detects for cotinine. Nicotine cannot stay in bloodstream for longer time. However, its metabolites stay in blood for longer periods. The metabolites through blood tests can be detected for 3 weeks after consumption of nicotine.
Saliva is collected from the individual though a swab and checked for presence of nicotine. It is easy to conduct nicotine test by saliva. It is a non-invasive method producing quick and accurate results. Nicotine and cotinine can be checked for 7 to 10 days by saliva test.
Hair sample taken from face, arms, legs, or head of an individual is tested in hair test. Metabolites of nicotine gets deposited in hair follicles which are detected by this test. Accurate results are provided by hair test as they employ high laboratory processing. So hair tests are more expensive than all other tests.
Any of these methods can be used to check for nicotine or its metabolites.