Many companies and insurance agencies conduct nicotine testing since smokers are usually at higher risk of diseases and death. Here are common methods employed to detect nicotine abuse:
This type of test detects the concentration level of cotinine, a metabolic by-product of nicotine, in urine. The urine test is capable of detecting the use of cotinine for four days after use. Despite the fact that cotinine stays in urine for only a short period of time, its concentration level is higher than in saliva or blood. Cotinine functions as a biomarker during urine testing for nicotine as its half life is more than other metabolites. This test can also be done at home with nicotine test kits that give accurate results.
This type of nicotine test is cheap and non-invasive. It can detect the presence of nicotine and cotinine up to seven to ten days after use. This is an ideal detection method since it is difficult to cheat the results of saliva test since the sample is taken by a swab from person’s mouth. Saliva test kits to check nicotine abuse are available so testing can be done at home.
Blood test can be done to check whether the person is a smoker or non-smoker. Blood sample is collected from the person. The level of cotinine is checked in a blood test. Cotinine can be detected up to three weeks after the last time a person smoked.
Another test that effectively delivers accurate results for nicotine abuse is hair test. It is considered to be more accurate than other tests since it is conducted employing advanced laboratory techniques. It is able to detect nicotine use for as long as 10 or more days from using nicotine. But the drawback is the cost; this test is more expensive than the three mentioned test for nicotine.