• All You Need to Know About Nicotine Testing Your Teenager

    teenager-nicotine-testing-smokingSmoking can be a bigger problem among teenagers who are far more prone to experimentation. The trouble is, according to recent research having even one cigarette can begin to harden the arteries. The last thing that any parents want is for their child to be ill or take on bad habits. Through nicotine testing, you can determine if your teenager has begun smoking and help it stop before it worsens.

    A nicotine test is designed to detect the presence of cotinine. Cotinine is one of 20 different metabolic products that show that nicotine has been present in the body. It is used to detect smoking because it has the longest life in the body at 3-5 days after nicotine has been inhaled. Testing for this product us relatively easy and inexpensive; below are a few facts about nicotine testing.

    Different Testing Methods

    There are two main ways to test for nicotine. These include the urine test and saliva screen.

    • Urine: For a urine screen, you will need about ½ inch sample of urine in specimen cup. The urine is tested by either a dropper method or through the use of a testing stick that is designed to look for cotinine in the urine. This works for as much as 4 days after the person smoked.
    • Saliva: For the saliva screen, you will need to gather a saliva sample from your teenager (never attempt to put one of these in their mouth!). This test involves a nicotine test strip that you insert into the saliva sample and then wait for results. Saliva tests can be more consistent and accurate than urine screens but it can get a false positive from secondhand smoke.

    How to Test

    • Urine: For a urine screen you can choose one of two different types of testing. Get at least ½ of urine in a dry clean cup, pull the strip from the package being careful to only touch the green tip and then insert it in the urine sample for 20 seconds. Place the strip on the back of the card, wait about 15 minutes and read the lowest red band for results. For the second method you will need to take out the test disc and put it on a flat dry surface. Draw a sample from the urine sample with the dropper and drip 3-4 drops of urine in the well. After five minutes you will have the result. The purple line on the left indicates the test is working and your results will appear on the right. If a test band is revealed, then the results are negative and if not, then the tests are positive.

    • Saliva: Ask the teenager to spit the right amount of saliva into the tube. This is done through the funnel that comes with the kit. Then put the lid on the tube and squeeze 8 drops of the saliva sample onto the white part of the strip. After a 30 minute wait the results will be ready. The lowest red band result is the accurate result.

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    Categories: Nicotine & Smoking Testing

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