Often the term “drug testing” is used by people when referring to the screening of illegal substances such as ecstasy, cocaine, marijuana, or heroin. However, many people do not realise that a test for tobacco is also available to determine whether or not someone smokes, how much they smoke, and whether or not they are exposed to high levels of second hand smoke. Using similar types of technology for testing illegal drugs, it is now possible to detect a metabolite that is created to break down nicotine known as cotinine. If a test determines there is cotinine in the body, it means nicotine was present as well.
The reason that smoking test kits are becoming popular, especially in the insurance field, is that people aren’t completely trust-worthy when they self-report. They may just not be aware of how much they are smoking, may be ashamed of how much they smoke, or not even realise the levels of second hand smoke they are breathing on a daily basis. Determining how much a person smokes is important, though, because it is one of the leading factors for lung cancer and heart disease.
The reason cotinine testing is preferred over other testing methods for smoking test kits is due to how specific, reliable, and sensitive the test is. Anyone who smokes, chews, or breathes tobacco will produce cotinine to break down the nicotine in their system. Cotinine lasts in the system longer than nicotine, only has a small amount of variation throughout the day, and isn’t affected by any outside factors like diet, making it ideal for any type of testing.
Cotinine typically remains in a person’s system for 2 to 4 days even after they have had their last cigarette which makes it perfect for at home testing. Here are a few reasons cotinine home testing is perfect to see if you child or anyone else in the home is smoking:
- From just £2.49 per test, smoking test kits are very inexpensive.
- Results come in as quickly as 5 minutes.
- The accuracy of cotinine testing matches similar tests done in a laboratory.
- Conducted in your own home, you maintain a high level of privacy.
- As simple as taking a home pregnancy test.
With each kit you will receive an individually foil-wrapped tobacco test along with disposable droppers and instructions for easy testing. Each test kit uses urinalysis to determine cotinine levels, the simplest form of testing that maintains accurate, reliable results.
Zoom Testing Smoking Test Kits are used by tobacco free programs, schools, clinics, parents and individuals, both in the UK and worldwide.
Photo Credit: Bradley Gee