Cotinine is a metabolite or byproduct of nicotine. Prolonged use of nicotine leads to many medical conditions such as COPD, lung cancer, heart disease, pulmonary infections, asthma, formation of blood clots and stroke.
Smoking can also hamper fetal growth and leads to babies who are born with a low birth weight. Due to the high risks that tobacco products pose to the health of people, many companies may use cotinine testing to examine prospective employees for nicotine use. A cotinine urine test is used to detect nicotine in the body. Nicotine or cotinine tests could also be conducted on applicants by health insurance companies.
Both nicotine and cotinine can be measured qualitatively or quantitatively. Qualitative testing detects the presence of absence of the substance, while quantitative testing measures the concentration of the substance. Quantitative testing also differentiates between people who actively smoke, those who have recently quit, non-users who have been exposed to large amounts of environmental tobacco smoke and non-users who have not suffered exposure. Cotinine can also be measured in the hair and saliva. Testing of the hair is mainly used in the field of research such as studies in which the effects of smoke exposure in non-smokers are examined. Nicotine or cotinine testing may be done if a nicotine overdose is suspected. These tests may also be requested when an individual joins a smoking cessation group or program. This is done in order to assess compliance.
The nicotine content in the blood can increase very quickly with just one puff of a cigarette. The level of nicotine depends upon the nicotine content in the cigarette and how deeply the individual smokes. The concentration of nicotine is higher in the urine compared to the saliva or blood. The rate at which nicotine is metabolized and the rate at which cotinine is eliminated from the body differs from person to person. When an individual discontinues tobacco use, the cotinine levels in the blood take about two weeks to drop to the level of a non-smoker. The level of cotinine in the urine will take many more weeks to reduce. The best way to pass a cotinine test is to stop using tobacco and nicotine products. Once you accomplish this, you can speed up the process of toxin removal by drinking plenty of water. This will elevate metabolism and help in eliminating the toxins present in the body. Intake of vitamin C also helps as it an effective antioxidant which helps in purging the toxins from the body.
Submitted by M T on April 1, 2010 at 03:57