Home HealthTopics Health Centers Reference Library Research
Join us on Facebook Join us on Facebook Share on Facebook

Smoking and Tobacco

2nd hand smoke

09/28/2006

Question:

Can 2nd hand smoke show up in test such as urine test. I have been quite for years yet am around 2nd hand smoke. I am applying for health Ins. and they said test reveal that I have signs of nicotine!! I don`t smoke!

Answer:

According to Dr. Mary Ellen Wewers,
Professor & Associate Dean for Research, Interim Director
Center for Health Outcomes, Policy and Evaluation Studies (HOPES),
The Ohio State University School of Public Health:

“Nicotine has a short half-life (2-4 hours) so often it is not detectable after 24 hours. Cotinine, its major metabolite, has a half-life of 16-19 hours so it usually is detectable for 4-7 days, depending upon amount of consumption.”

It’s hard to answer your question; is there any smokeless tobacco use like dip or chew, pipes or cigars?  If you are around a lot of smoke, you might want to consider not being around for 3-4 days, then be retested. I would also suggest talking to the health insurance company to see what they suggest. There are other more expensive tests that they may suggest.

Cotinine can be detected in the saliva as well. Other sources for information on Cotinine are the Foundation for Blood Research, www.fbr.org and the Centers for Disease Control: http://www.cdc.gov/tobacco/ (See the CDC's Third National Report on Human Exposure to Environmental Chemicals: “Spotlight on Cotinine,” July 2005)

For more information:

Go to the Smoking and Tobacco health topic, where you can:

Response by:

Kathy Vesha, RN, BSN, MA
Formerly:
Kick It!
The James
The Ohio State University