Nicotine is a drug and stimulant which makes the heart beat faster and raises the blood pressure. Not only in the cigarettes, but nicotine is also found in very minute quantities in tomatoes, potatoes, and aborigines. It is highly toxic in higher amounts. Using nicotine for more prolonged periods can cause serious problems in the individuals such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Lung tumors and cancers
- Respiratory failure
- Gastrointestinal issues
- Loss of appetite
- A headache
Nicotine can take up to 72 hours in getting removed from the body after the person quits smoking. The nicotine left in the bloodstream will cause cravings for nicotine and thereby make it difficult to abandon it. Nicotine can be removed from the body by:
- Drinking lots of water
- Exercising to increase metabolism
- Taking plenty of vitamin C
- Doing breathing exercises to get rid of nicotine cravings
- Avoiding alcohol, sugar, coffee as they increase nicotine cravings
- Using nicotine cleanser
Pharmacology about nicotine
Nicotine contains compound cotinine which is detectable in the body fluids up to several days. The cotinine levels in the blood, saliva, urine, etc. are proportional directly to the exposure to the nicotine. People who prefer menthol cigarettes have cotinine in their body for more extended periods as menthol competes with the metabolism of the nicotine.
Nicotine test kits
One can, however, test himself that whether nicotine has been flushed out of his body entirely or not. Nicotine urine test kits are available in the market by the help of which the person can test nicotine in the body at home. The test works on the principle of detecting cotinine which is produced when nicotine enters the body. This is an immunoassay test that can be easily performed at home by merely collecting the urine sample and the card provided in the test kit is dipped in the urine sample. It takes nearly five minutes to get the results of the test. It is one of the most sensitive instant tobacco tests that can detect the nicotine levels above 50ng/ml.
Cotinine levels less than 10ng/ml are considered to be consistent with no active smoking. The values between 11ng/ml to 30ng/ml are associated with light smoking or passive exposure to the nicotine. Levels above 300ng/ml are found in active smokers who smoke more than 20 cigarettes per day.
These tests provide a more quantitative measure of the cotinine levels which are more reliable than reckoning the smoking history or enumerating the number of cigarettes smoked by the individual. This test also provides differentiation between the active and passive smokers. The results presented by these tests are 99% accurate.
However, tobacco quitting therapies like chewing-gums, patch, lozenge, inhaler, nasal spray will also give positive nicotine tests as all the treatments contain nicotine which is metabolized in the same way.
Nicotine is having some beneficiary effects too as it was widely used as herbicide and insecticide in the past. It can, however, be said that nicotine has more side effects than beneficiary effects and it is necessary for human beings to quit the use of nicotine. Quitting and Keeping a check on nicotine levels has been made accessible with these nicotine test kits.