Does Drinking Water Flush Nicotine Out of Your System?

Medically Reviewed on 5/25/2021
Nicotine is water-soluble, so drinking water will help flush out any lingering traces. Water helps flush nicotine and other chemicals out of your body.
Nicotine is water-soluble, so drinking water will help flush out any lingering traces. Water helps flush nicotine and other chemicals out of your body.

Nicotine is water-soluble, so drinking water will help flush out any lingering traces. Water helps flush nicotine and other chemicals out of your body. Therefore, drinking water in sufficient quantities is a must for every smoker. However, it will make you urinate more often. Frequent urination is helpful because nicotine, cotinine and most tobacco toxins are removed from the body through urine. Nicotine dissolves in water present in the body and the liver expels nicotine through the urine.

  • Drinking lots of water also helps reduce the desire to smoke.
  • Headaches are one of the common symptoms that occur when nicotine is removed from the body and there is increased blood flow and oxygen to the brain. Headaches can be treated in the usual way by resting quietly and drinking plenty of water.
  • Staying hydrated is the key to leading a healthy life and sipping water throughout the day can help you quit smoking naturally.
  • Water helps flush toxins from the body, so water is necessary to remove toxic ingredients of cigarettes.
  • Drinking a glass of cold water 15 minutes before eating a meal balances the metabolic rate, which can help avoid weight gain after quitting. Hydrating the body will also help you heal faster and look healthier.

Smoking dehydrates the body. Water is critical for the human body to function properly. It makes up two-thirds of the body weight and every cell and organ depend on it. Without water, a person would die within a few days. When people quit smoking, water eases several kinds of discomfort associated with nicotine withdrawal.

Can a blood test confirm if I am a smoker?

A lab examination called nicotine test may help a doctor determine the nicotine content in a person’s body. A nicotine test measures the level of nicotine or the chemicals it produces in the body. It's usually done by testing a sample of the blood or urine. The test is used to see if a person smokes or uses other forms of tobacco. Nicotine is the addictive chemical found in cigarettes and other tobacco products. When a person smokes, the body breaks down nicotine and turns it into cotinine. Cotinine is the chemical metabolite that lab technicians look for when screening for nicotine use. When a person stops using nicotine, it can take more than two weeks for the levels of nicotine and cotinine in the blood to drop. It takes a few more weeks after that for the levels in the urine to drop. For the nicotine test, a blood sample may be collected from a vein in the arm or a random urine sample will be used. Sometimes, a saliva sample or a hair sample (rarely) is used.

  • In general, a high level of nicotine or cotinine indicates active tobacco or nicotine product use.
  • A moderate concentration indicates that the person has not had tobacco or nicotine for two to three weeks.
  • A lower level may be found in someone who does not use tobacco who has been exposed to environmental smoke.
  • Very low to undetectable concentrations may be found in people who have not used tobacco or nicotine, have refrained from tobacco and nicotine for several weeks or are not exposed to environmental smoke.

Nicotine can appear in the bloodstream about an hour after inhalation. A 2017 article reviewed by the College of Medicine at the University of Illinois stated that cotinine can be detected in the blood for up to 10 days after a person quits. Although a blood test is an invasive procedure, measuring cotinine in the blood is the most reliable way to detect nicotine use. It is also the preferred method for determining nicotine exposure among nonsmokers. A nicotine test is generally taken for legal reasons, such as before taking a new job or when it is mandated by a court. This test determines the levels of nicotine in the blood.

Does smoking cessation help?

Yes. When a person quits smoking, the body begins to heal immediately. According to the National Cancer Institute, smokers who quit before the age of 40 years old reduce their chance of dying prematurely from a smoking-related disease by about 90 percent. Quitting makes a difference even if a person has already been diagnosed with lung cancer. If a person is diagnosed with early-stage cancer, the chances of complications are much higher if they are still smoking. If a person has advanced-stage lung cancer, they may live longer if they quit smoking. The earlier a person quits, the greater the health benefit.


How to Quit Smoking: 13 Tips to End Addiction See Slideshow

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Medically Reviewed on 5/25/2021
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