Nicotine metabolizes into cotinine in a day. The continine ( which is what they really test for) will show up in a blood test for several weeks.
Tobacco smoking will result in the absorption of nicotine via the lung and oral/nasal tissues. The nicotine is then metabolized into approximately 20 different metabolites and excreted in the urine. Continine is a major metabolite and accumulates in the body when smoking is a regular occurrence.
Continine is an alkaloid found in tobacco and is also a metabolite of nicotine. Chewing tobacco absorbs more nicotine than smoking tobacco.
How long nicotine stays in your system depends on how long you have been smoking and how many cigarettes you smoke per day.
For occasional smokers, it stays in their body for 2-4 days, but with heavy smokers, it can last up to a few months.
Also, for people exposed to second-hand smoke - tobacco smoke that smokers exhale and that passersby inhale - nicotine can stay in their body for up to 15 to 20 days.
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