Patient: I am planning to have gastric sleeve surgery at the end of March. My doctor will not operate on cigarette smokers. He will do a hair folical test to be sure. I am or have been a cigarette smoker. I’ve had a hard time quitting but am currently using Nicorete. My question is how far back will cigarette residue show up positive on a test.
Doctor: Hello,Thank you for your query at AskTheDoctor.comI understand your concern.When a hair is dormant (i.e., not g rowing), no new drug deposits can get into it. It can stay there 1 to 4 months, so, in theory, head OR body hair can reveal drugs that go back a little further than 90 days, depending on the person. However, only 10 to 15 percent of your strands are in this phase, so the risk is minor. Furthermore, there are no conclusive studies that have shown scientifically that body hair reveals drug use longer than 90 days when cut properly (i.e., an inch and a half from the base).If there is a smoking history (in the last 3-4 months), this can show up in the hair follicle test, even though the chances are very less.Hope this was helpful.Regards.