When people use tobacco products, some nicotine stays in their system after they quit smoking. Medical tests may detect nicotine in people's urine , blood, saliva, hair , and nails.
Nicotine is an addictive substance in tobacco, cigarettes, and vapes or e-cigarettes. When someone smokes a cigarette, up to 90% of the nicotine is absorbed by their body. Traces of nicotine will persist long after individuals no longer feel the effects.
About half of the nicotine will be removed by the body two hours after the ingestion of nicotine. This means that nicotine has a half-life of about 2 hours. This short half-life means that the immediate effects of nicotine go away quickly, so people will soon feel they need another dose.
When nicotine enters the body, it is broken down into more than 20 different substances, including cotinine, anabasine, and nicotine. People will eventually excrete these by-products in their urine.
According to the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, it may take more than 2 weeks for a person's blood to reach the same level of cotinine as someone who does not use tobacco. It takes a few more weeks for urine levels to become very low.
Traces of nicotine may remain in the hair longer, although people are rarely asked to perform a hair test unless they participate in research. The more someone smokes, and the higher the frequency of smoking, the longer it takes to leave the body.
The severity and timing of physical withdrawal symptoms will vary depending on how much individual smokes.
A 2010 paper suggests that people who smoke five or less cigarettes a day may not have severe physical symptoms because their bodies are less dependent on nicotine. They may still have emotional ties to smoking, however.
Symptoms of nicotine withdrawal are at worst a few days to a few weeks after smoking. The first week is usually the most difficult, and the symptoms gradually decrease over the next few weeks.
Once the physical symptoms have gone and all the nicotine has left a person's body, they may still feel a psychological urge to smoke. This is often because they are used to smoking habits.
In triggering situations, the desire for nicotine may be worse. Examples of these may include times of stress or when drinking with friends. Over time, these triggers have become much less powerful.
Water is crucial to the proper functioning of the human body. It's two-thirds of our body weight, and every cell and organ depends on it. Without water, a person would die in a matter of days. Water also helps flush residual nicotine out of your body, and by keeping yourself well-hydrated, you'll feel better overall. This can only help you make your way through the discomfort of nicotine withdrawal.
When we quit smoking, our bodies will suffer a bit of shock. Most of us have been inhaling not only nicotine multiple times a day for years, but also all the rest of the chemicals in cigarettes. While this is not a healthy state, our bodies have been used to the regimen, and detox can come as a physical, not to mention emotional, shock. Fight this by making it a point to eat food that gives your body the nutrition it needs. Adding multi-vitamin daily during early smoking cessation is also a good idea.
Adding some form of exercise to your daily routine will improve both your physical health and your state of mind, especially as you move through nicotine withdrawal. Exercise helps you control mood swings and urges you to smoke that are common during this time because it releases endorphins, the "feel good" hormone.
Quitting tobacco is hard work, and every single day you finish smoking-free early is a victory, plain and simple. In addition, as smokers, we learn to expect instant gratification, and treatment of some type early on in cessation is therapeutic. The reward doesn't have to be big, but it's supposed to be something that helps you feel like you've spoiled yourself a bit.
Sometimes, when you want a cigarette, the best thing we can do is simply redirect your attention to something different and interesting. Nine times out of ten, the urge is gone in a few moments. Our thoughts are coloring our lives. If you find that you're taking places you 'd prefer not to go, take charge and shift your focus with a little distraction.
That foggy, lethargic feeling is completely normal after you quit smoking. As smokers, we were used to receiving doses of nicotine and approximately 7,000 other chemicals 20 to 40 times a day. The stress of abruptly cutting off that supply, as unsafe as it was, can leave us feeling extremely tired. If you're tired and you can manage it during the day, take a power nap. Go to bed a bit earlier than usual, too, if you need to. Right now, your body is working hard to overcome the effects of nicotine withdrawal, and some extra sleep will do you good.
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