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Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Smoking and Tobacco
Nicotine in the blood
I am not a smoker, but I was at a party 3 weeks ago and smoked 6 cigarettes with my drinks. Kind of a one time thing. Since I am not a regular smoker, how long will it take the nicotine from those 6 cigarettes to leave my bloodstream?
The half-life of nicotine is about 2 hours. That means that if a person's level of nicotine is 20 in the blood stream at noon, it will decrease to 10 by about 2 pm, and further decrease to 5 by about 4 pm, and so on. Therefore if you smoked 3 weeks ago, nicotine and its breakdown product (cotinine) would no longer be in your system.
Karen L Ahijevych, PhD, RN, FAAN
Professor, College of Nursing
Professor, College of Public Health
College of Nursing
The Ohio State University