Skip to content
Question about cotinine/nicotine testing.
JamieAT posted:
Don't know if this is the right message board for this question or not, but I now have to be tested for nicotine to get cheaper insurance thru work. I don't smoke, but my test came back positive. My husband quit smoking 2 yrs ago, but my mom and grandmother still smoke. How sensitive is this test? Can anything else make you test positive? I have never smoked so I don't understand why I tested positive and think it is unfair that I am going to have to pay extra for my insurance. (Sorry about the ranting... but insurance is already so costly!!!!)
Chris_WebMD_Staff responded:

That is frustrating! You really need to call your doc and ask to be sure. Maybe get the doc to test you too?
Make a phone call to your doctor or the nurse in the office might be able to help you. Good luck!!
kwibidi responded:
Sounds kind of hinky to me. I would definitely have my doctor test as well as to ask him about the nicotine test as well as do some research online. Tests can come back false-positive. If one eats poppy seeds before a drug test, the test will come back positive for opiates. Regardless, if you've never smoked, I would fight it and insist on testing from a different (and objective) source (at the insurance company's or your employer's expense). (By objective, I mean that the testing (from the draw to the test interpretation should be done by a verified independent laboratory.) Even if you had smoked, but had been off cigarettes/nicotine products for half a year to a year, I would fight it, if it were me.
JamieAT replied to kwibidi's response:
Thanks for the advice. I am going to get re-tested at another lab in a different town. Hopefully my results will be accurate this time!
Erpfish responded:
A Cotinine test will show positives for other substances apart from Nicotine. E.g., potato salad, tomatoes will show positives.

Helpful Tips

What are the characteristics of effective smoking cessation treatment?Expert
Many smokers who have tried unsuccessfully to quit smoking on their own start to consider seeking help to quit. Of course a quick internet ... More
Was this Helpful?
21 of 23 found this helpful

Related Drug Reviews

  • Drug Name User Reviews

Report Problems With Your Medications to the FDA

FDAYou are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.