Hoax debunked: If you’re trying to quit smoking, go to a sauna 3 days in a row.

I’ve seen this picture doing the rounds on Facebook lately, and I couldn’t find someone who had debunked it:

A picture of a sauna with the text: If you're trying to quit smoking, go to a sauna 3 days in a row. You'll sweat out the nicotine and it'll be easier to quit.

I’m not a chemist, physicist, or physician; so take this with as many grains of salt as you see fit. The way I see it, there are 3 major things wrong with this assertion:

1) Nicotine is metabolised by the liver, whether you sweat more isn’t going to make your liver work faster (it will actually work slower if you are dehydrated).

2) The elimination half-life of nicotine is about 2 hours, so 3 days after a cigarette the nicotine would be long gone, sauna or no. For example, if you had 10 cigarettes worth of nicotine in you when you stopped, by the time 72 hours had passed you would have 0.0000000003 of a cigarette’s worth of nicotine.

3) Addiction to nicotine is what makes you want to smoke. If this method did somehow magically remove nicotine faster then the desire for nicotine would come back sooner; pretty much the exact opposite of what you are trying to achieve!

So sauna away, if that’s your desire; just don’t expect it to help you quit smoking.

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24 thoughts on “Hoax debunked: If you’re trying to quit smoking, go to a sauna 3 days in a row.

  1. Ben says:

    It’s worked for me , maybe it’s a placebo effect?

  2. scott says:

    I just steamed for like almost an hour off and on, in cycles. Hitting cool water in between. I smelled the smokes after about the 4th steam cycle.

    • Melinda says:

      I wonder if that is just cleaning out any smoke that got into your pores externally from smoke. Almost like taking a super shower. Nicotine addiction is something at the level of the neurotransmitters in the body so the writer is pretty on point.

  3. jacob hoffman says:

    does it make the body sweat out the hormone that makes you desire nicotine? lack of nicotine causes a hormone to be made that makes you want nicotine. maybe a sauna makes people sweat that hormone out.

  4. Mike says:

    Kind of agree with the placebo effect you can only quit when you want to and I want to so I am going to try it for three days and put it in my mind that is is working just to give it a shot and try to stick to it I’ll save money and get healthy I hope lol

  5. Aimee says:

    When my uncle was trying to quit smoking- he would sweat in his sleep and the sheets would be yellow from the nicotine. Your body can store the toxin (like many others) in your fat cells. Depending on how much/long you smoke- you will have it stored.

    • Jason Neal says:

      1. Nicotine (C10H14N2) is colorless. Not yellow.
      2. Withdrawal can affect people in many ways, and sweating can certainly be one of them. That doesn’t mean sweating will help you quit smoking. (non-sequitur)
      3. Sweat typically stains cloth yellow. That’s not special.
      4. Nicotine has a biological half-life of a few hours and is excreted from urine. I can’t find a single reputable source that even begins to allude to nicotine being stored in body fat.

      Let’s try to keep the FoodBabe bullshit as far away from the science as possible.

  6. Rob says:

    I agree the nicotine doesn’t last long in the system but a bit harsh to call hoax I think. In my experience, detoxing, including saunas, and generally keeping yourself fit helped me to reduce the craving.

    As far as I understand it, the addiction isn’t physical after those first few days and the drug has pretty much left, but there’s a strong mental craving for a long time after.
    I found it was 90% habit and only 10% real crave.
    So I tried replacing the smoking habit with something else, going to gym and looking after myself.
    Worked for me.

  7. Ben B says:

    are you telling me all these benefits won’t help you quit smoking your kidding me. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aHOlM-wlNjM&ab_channel=FoundMyFitness

  8. john doe says:

    worked for me i went to the saua and steam room one week later i didnt even care and wasnt even on my mind alot and i used to do it in the morning so i would workout then go to the sauna great way to start the day 🙂 p.s you get a better high in the sauna lol

  9. laura says:

    I think the sauna is aiming at the some 1500 other toxins in cigarettes that are stored in your body. Certainly it helps with the cough all smokers have. If someone believes they are doing this in order to be healthy what harm is in it even if it doesn’t rid the body of nicotine? If anything it’s at least relaxing and who couldn’t use that. What ever works to give up a habit is worth its weight in gold.

  10. It could help with the stress of quitting. The claim in the meme is probably false, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t some therapeutic affect.

  11. Carol Mee says:

    Enjoy sauna 2-3 times a week & noticed when particular lady was there I smelled nicotine before entering sauna, very strong in the sauna (I left). Noticed this for quite some time, left for week/next visit: same lady but no nicotine odor at all.
    Interesting…

  12. Hammett says:

    Sauna works for me. It certainly works to take my stress away associated with smoking cessation.

  13. Harry Fish says:

    I used to go to the sauna every Sunday regular like clock work – always cleaned out my lungs and pores.

  14. Sarasota says:

    Shouting at the clouds- your sucking idiot if you don’t think sweating removes toxins from the body

    • Sarasota, please keep the comments civil. Sweat does not remove any more than trace amounts of toxins from the system. To quote from this article, “heavy sweating can impair your body’s natural detoxification system […] the liver and kidneys — not the sweat glands — are the organs we count on to filter toxins from our blood. If you don’t drink enough water to compensate for a good sweat, dehydration could stress the kidneys and keep them from doing their job.”

  15. T.Maria says:

    I asked a medical doctor. Majority of nicotine takes 4 days to leave your system then 6 days trace amounts before you are completely free physically. 10 days. As an Ex smoker if you can make 4 days major cravings, after that, it not so bad. Cravings after 10 days are only psychological. Cigs are not just nicotine, removing ALL their toxins from your system sweating, does speed up the quitting healing process and helps you feel stronger to fight cravings. HE recommended including saunas as well, the steam also helps open your airways as you will have trouble breathing the first while as your lungs start to heal. And yes, nicotine is not just in your liver, it’s in your blood and can be sweat out same as other toxins. It does work.

  16. RJ says:

    Steam sauna or dry sauna can definitely have a positive impact on smoking cessation or vaping cessation, although the effects are mostly psychological in nature:

    Relief from the heat paired with the sensation of inhaling the steam or heat can make one feel as though they are filling their lungs while simultaneously cleaning them out.

    Replacing smoke/vape with pure steam can have both simple health benefits and the psychological benefits that aid in going cold-turkey.

  17. Andro says:

    Actually sauna does not make you quit smoking by removing nicotine as such… Its the sheer discomfort of being in a sauna that does. Where nicotine hijacks your reward pathways in such a way you feel as if you’re going to die without a hit… A prolonged session in the sauna stimulates that same kind of discomfort of not having a cigarette and in doing so reclaim your dopamine pathways far quicker. After 3 days of repeated sauna better yet a week (but proper sauna 30 mins at least where you’re dying to get out) you will no longer crave cancer sticks.

  18. John Lahie says:

    Well dude just go ask your chemist, physicist, or physician trust it’s work☝️Just find me prove that does not

  19. Muke says:

    Nicotine is converted to continine inside your body, so if it removed this as well in 3 days, then I would consider this effective…. Test strips are cheap, easy test for anyone with access to a sauna and a few test strips…

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