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UW Health SMPH
American Family Children's Hospital

UW Hospital and Clinics Lab Test Directory

Test Name: Nicotine (includes Cotinine)


CPT Code(s): 80323

Methodology: Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry

Days Performed: Mon-Fri, dayshift, as workload dictates.

Turnaround Time: Stat: Not available stat.
Routine: 4 - 7 working days.

Specimen Requirements

Specimen: Blood

Collection Container: Preferred: Red top

Collection Volume: Preferred: 4 mL
Pediatrics: 3 mL

Sample Analyzed: Serum

Volume Required: Preferred: 2 mL
Pediatrics: 1.5 mL

Specimen Processing: Centrifuge and transfer cell-free serum to plastic vial. Refrigerate.

Specimen Transport: Transport specimen to laboratory. Transport with coolant pack if coming from outreach location.

Unacceptable Criteria: Specimens collected in red cap with yellow ring (SST) tubes are not acceptable.

Stability: Ambient: 7 days
Refrigerated: 7 days
Frozen: 1 year


Result of "BELOW" indicates that the result is below the method detection limit of 50 ng/mL for nicotine and 50 ng/mL for cotinine.

Test Limitations:

Nicotine and cotinine will be detected when the patient is using nicotine replacement therapy patches and/or gum.  Use of nicotine replacement therapy products must be discontinued for 7 - 10 days in order for the nicotine and cotinine to no longer be detected. 

Additional Information:

Both nicotine and cotinine values will be reported.


This test was developed and its performance characteristics determined by the UWHC Clinical Laboratories.  This test meets the standards for clinical testing.  This test should not be regarded as investigational or for research use.  The US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has not approved or cleared this test; however, the FDA has determined that such clearance or approval is not necessary.

Cotinine (nicotine metabolite)

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