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Test Code NICOS Nicotine and Cotinine, LC/MS/MS, Serum/Plasma

Specimen Required

1 mL serum collected in a red-top tube (no gel)
4mL whole blood in EDTA or dark / royal blue top tube

Specimen Minimum Volume

0.5 mL serum or plasma 2mL whole blood

Specimen Stability

Serum and plasma Room temperature: 72 hours Refrigerated: 21 days Frozen: 30 days Whole blood Room temperature: 72 hours Refrigerated: 21 days Frozen: Unacceptable

Rejection Due To

Gross hemolysis • Serum Separator Tube (SST®)

Report Available

3 days

Method Name

Liquid Chromatography/Tandem Mass Spectrometry (LC/MS/MS)

Collection Container / Tube

Preferred: Red Top Tube
Other Acceptable Container: EDTA (lavender-top), or (dark/royal blue-top)

Transport / Storage Conditions


Special Instructions

Spin and transfer serum or plasma into a plastic, screw-capped vial.

Reference Values

Smokers 2-10 ng/mL
Nonsmokers ≤4 ng/mL

Smokers 16-145 ng/mL
Nonsmokers ≤8 ng/mL

Day(s) Performed

Mon-Sat evening

CPT Codes


Alias/See Also