When you apply for life insurance, many insurance companies require a medical exam that includes several tests to determine your health and overall risk of premature death. in testing, many insurance companies have nicotine screening tests to determine if you are a smoker. Smoking is an important consideration when determining if you are eligible for life insurance.
If you test positive for nicotine, life insurance companies classify you as a smoker and place you in a different premium tier than non-smokers (a higher tier). Even if you don’t currently smoke but have nicotine in your system, you may still be classified as a smoker.
Do life insurance companies test for nicotine?
yes, life insurance companies will test for nicotine. it’s a standard test for any life insurance policy since smokers have a higher risk of premature death than non-smokers.
Nicotine or cotinine test for life insurance is designed to measure the level of nicotine in your body to determine your smoking habits, decide if you are an active smoker or if you recently quit. This is why adults over 70 with health conditions and/or who smoke should obtain a guaranteed policy. These policies are more expensive, but you can’t be turned down for life insurance even if you smoke or have health problems.
what type of nicotine do life insurance companies test for?
Life insurance companies use nicotine screening tests that don’t just mean cigarettes. covers almost any way a person can smoke, including:
- electronic cigarettes
- chewing tobacco
- nicotine patches or gum
- ground flax seeds
- brussels sprouts
how long does nicotine stay in your system?
How long nicotine stays in your body varies depending on how often and how much you smoke. your health, activity level, and even the length of your hair can determine how long the nicotine stays.
Most people have the chemical building blocks of nicotine, known as cotinine, in their urine for at least 3 days and up to four months from the date of their last cigarette. month, but most people prove they are clean in two to three months.
Nicotine generally stays in a person’s hair much longer than it does in urine or blood. for people with longer hair, tests can detect minute amounts for more than a year.
However, the bloodstream only shows small amounts of nicotine for one to three days, but cotinine, the chemical that is metabolized into nicotine, remains for up to 10 days.
A saliva test is the most accurate way to test smokers, but cotinine remains in saliva for only up to 4 days. however, heavy smokers can test positive for both the blood and saliva tests for up to 14 days after the last cigarette.
keep in mind…
It is important to remember that most people who use nicotine replacement treatments, such as patches and gum, will still test positive for nicotine. a week without these products is usually enough for a negative test, but quitting cold turkey if you’re on a quit program will increase your chances of returning to nicotine use by up to 60%.
how long does it take for nicotine to leave the system for life insurance?
Most life insurance companies don’t consider you a “non-smoker” until you’ve quit smoking for at least 12 months. You’ll also get the best life insurance rates once you’ve quit smoking for 5 years. It’s worth talking to your life insurance company about reclassifying you once you resign, as each life insurance company has different requirements.
can you lie to an insurance company about smoking?
You can lie to an insurance company about smoking, but they will catch you if they test for nicotine. There is no foolproof way to know if nicotine will show up in your blood, urine, saliva, or hair. You may also have a history of smoking in your medical records. if the life insurance company verifies your medical records, they could deny your application for lying (also known as insurance fraud).
If an insurance company finds out after the fact that you smoked and then died, they may deny your life insurance claim. lying is not worth the risk. tell the truth, pay your premiums, and work hard to quit so you can have non-smoking rates for years to come.
types of nicotine tests for life insurance:
As we said earlier, life insurance companies can test for nicotine in several ways:
hair retains nicotine longer. however, like most tests, there are variations. On average, expect nicotine to stay in your hair for up to 30 days. but if you have long hair or a long growth cycle, it could appear for 12 months or more.
The hair test is the most accurate nicotine test for life insurance, but it is also the most expensive. Most insurance companies rely on blood or saliva tests for nicotine unless they have reason to use hair testing.
The saliva test is used much more often than the hair test, but not as often as the urine test. Saliva tests are much more sensitive than urine tests and can detect nicotine for about 4 days, but sometimes up to a week. Saliva tests are subject to false positives, which is why most insurance companies rely on urine tests.
This is the most common and least expensive life insurance nicotine test. the standard urine test is reliable. it can detect the substance for 3 days but up to four months, but it is the least sensitive test.
Some insurance companies still use the blood test to check for nicotine, but it’s rare. the bloodstream only holds small amounts of nicotine for a few days, but can show cotinine for up to 10 days.
foods that help eliminate nicotine and cotinine from the body:
Nicotine and cotinine slowly disappear from the body in days or weeks after smoking, but if you want to be sure, you can eat certain fruits and vegetables to remove the chemical from your body.
First, it’s essential to drink plenty of water (over 64 ounces) each day and stay as active as possible. the more you sweat, the more nicotine you excrete from your body.
Second, you should eat a healthy diet free of processed foods, caffeine, and alcohol.
Include high-fiber foods in your diet, including:
Broccoli: This green veggie is loaded with vitamin C which has been shown to flush nicotine directly from the body. Vitamin C will not only remove nicotine from the blood, it will also remove it from the urine, making it useful for a drug screen for nicotine.
oranges: like broccoli, vitamin c will remove nicotine from the body. however, the oranges will also speed up your metabolism so that the nicotine is eliminated from the body faster.
kiwi: this healthy fruit will eliminate nicotine thanks to vitamin c. It also increases the levels of vitamins A and E in your body.
spinach: the many vitamins and folic acid play an important role in how to eliminate nicotine from the body. however, an added benefit is that it will make smoking taste bad, which will help you kick the habit.
how to pass a nicotine test for life insurance?
The best way to pass the life insurance nicotine test is to quit smoking.
Life insurance companies won’t consider you a non-smoker until you’ve been smoke-free for at least 12 months and sometimes up to 5 years.
Even if you pass the nicotine test, you shouldn’t lie to an insurance company about the last time you smoked. the data could show up in your medical records or nicotine tests.
many people wonder if they won’t pass a nicotine test if they are secondhand smokers. while the concern is valid, it is not a concern. Secondhand smoke can be a health problem, but the exposure isn’t enough to show up in a blood, saliva, urine, or hair test.
You can read more about how to pass a nicotine drug test quickly here!
frequently asked questions:
how long does it take to get life insurance after quitting?
Most life insurance companies will consider you a non-smoker once you’ve been smoke-free for 12 months. This doesn’t mean you’ll get the best insurance rates since it’s only been a year, but it’s a start.
The further away you are from your last cigarette, the better rates you’ll get. most companies consider you a true non-smoker and eligible for the best rates once you’ve quit smoking for 5 years.
Should I quit cold turkey to get better insurance rates?
Quitting cold turkey may not be the safest way to quit. Always consult your medical advisor before making any important decisions about your health. even if you quit cold turkey, you won’t get better life insurance rates the next day: it takes time, up to 5 years after your last cigarette, to get the best rates.
Quitting cold turkey and lying about your quit date is also not a good idea, as it is insurance fraud and puts you at risk of serious consequences. instead, be honest but quit and know you’re on your way to better rates and better health.
does nicotine gum show up in urine tests?
Nicotine gum is metabolized in the gastrointestinal system, kidneys, and liver and may show up in urine tests. chewing gum contains nicotine that is metabolized as cotinine and may appear for at least a few days after consumption.
If you want non-smoking life insurance rates, you must be smoke-free for 12 months to 5 years, depending on the insurance company. if you smoke or have health problems, consider a guaranteed life insurance policy at least until you quit and can get the best life insurance rates.