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Can Vaping Show Up on a Drug Test?

While vaping is becoming more commonplace as an alternative to smoking traditional cigarettes or joints, it is still a relatively new phenomenon. Some view vaping as a "healthier" way to deliver nicotine, THC, and CBD into their bodies. However, science is still weighing its long-term effects.

What Is Vaping?

Vaping is the act of inhaling and exhaling liquid through a heated-up aerosol — also referred to as vapor — through battery-operated devices called e-cigarettes, vape pens, or vape boxes.

Common Vaping Devices

As mentioned above, you can vape from a variety of devices. Some of these are made to look like regular cigarettes, cigars, or pipes. Others are tank systems that look like boxes.

Some vaping devices are rechargeable while others are disposable, but all of these devices consist of a heating component, mouthpiece, cartridge, e-liquid, and a battery.

Common Vaping Substances 

The three most common substances to vape are nicotine, THC, and CBD. Of those, THC and nicotine are the two most likely to be targeted with a drug test. While other drugs can be delivered through the vaporized liquid, they are far less common and much more difficult to obtain.


Nicotine is a chemical compound found in tobacco plants. It is highly addictive and can cause serious health problems. In its most popular uses, nicotine can be delivered into your body through smoking cigarettes, cigars, hookah, or vaping. 

Companies are allowed to screen for nicotine, though its use is not prohibited by law. This trend seems to be most common for jobs in healthcare, but it is up to each company's discretion what they choose to look for in their drug testing procedures.

Parents are also screening their teenagers for nicotine use. It may be easier to tell if your teen is smoking cigarettes due to the smell, the yellowing of teeth and fingernails, and the chronic cough. Vaping is easier to hide, easier to purchase, costs less than other tobacco products, and comes in various flavors, such as strawberry and chocolate, which make the experience more appealing to young demographics.

Some people think vaping tobacco products is safer than smoking cigarettes, but that is just not true. With vapes, some users intake even more nicotine than they would from a traditional tobacco product. There are extra-strength cartridges available, which have a higher concentration of nicotine. Or the smoker can increase the heat and voltage on their vape device to get a more intense hit of their chosen substance.


THC is the abbreviation for tetrahydrocannabinol, the psychoactive element in marijuana that creates the feeling of being high. One can consume marijuana in a variety of ways, including through edibles, tinctures, and smoking. Marijuana is most commonly smoked through joints, pipes, and more recently, by vaping. 

Pre-employment drug screenings often test for cannabis, cocaine, amphetamines, opioids, and barbiturates, among others. Parents are also using at-home drug tests to monitor their children for these common drugs. Teenagers are choosing edibles or vaping over other methods, again, because it is much more discreet. By vaping marijuana, there is no actual smoke, only vapor that quickly dissipates. It also produces very minimal odor. And with marijuana becoming legal and decriminalized in many states, it is also growing much easier to acquire.

Is There a Drug Test Specifically for Vaping?

If your job or lifestyle puts you at risk of drug testing, you may have questions about the lingering evidence of vaping in your system. If you're wondering whether there is a drug test specifically to test for vaping, the short answer is no. Vaping is a delivery method for a substance. Vaping is not a substance itself.

A more accurate question would be: if you consume drugs or tobacco through vapor, will they show up on a drug test? 

When you take a drug test, you are being tested for specific substances and drugs. You are not being tested for how they get into your body. If you vape a substance such as nicotine or THC and take a drug test within a certain timeframe, there will be a positive result.

Reasons to Drug Test

Vaping is not necessarily an illegal activity, and this habit alone may not be a red flag that dictates drug testing. But there are many legitimate concerns to get drug testing involved.

Drug tests are most often used by parents, in rehab facilities, and by businesses testing their employees. Here are the main reasons behind testing individuals for drugs:

  • Reasonable Suspicion — If an individual shows signs of drug use, such as a change in appearance or behavior, a drug test is the quickest and most reliable way to confirm whether this change is due to alcohol or drugs. 
  • Random Drug Testing — Whether this policy is outlined in an employee handbook, the rules at a drug rehab facility, or a parent monitoring their child, having individuals aware that they could undergo random drug testing at any time helps keep them on track. The threat of unemployment or other consequences can sometimes be enough motivation to make the right decisions.
  • Pre-employment — This is the most common reason for someone to be required to undergo drug testing. Testing in this scenario is used to avoid hiring individuals who abuse drugs and alcohol, thus lessening the chances of a workplace accident, absenteeism, loss of productivity, and increased healthcare costs. It may be continued during employees' tenure to ensure safe choices in the workplace.
  • Accident — If an employee is involved in a workplace accident, drug testing is often used to see whether drugs and alcohol are contributing factors. This helps the company identify unsafe work practices and measure their liability regarding workers' compensation premiums and claims. 
  • Follow-up — This testing generally takes place after an employee returns to work having previously tested positive, or to check on anyone that has been in a drug and alcohol rehabilitation facility to identify and discourage relapses.

Why Choose Countrywide Testing

Regardless of the delivery method used, whether through vaping or other means, employers and parents have the right to drug test. If you are a parent and you suspect your child is vaping, you should act immediately. Getting a handle on addictive behavior early can make all the difference. 

Countrywide Testing is an online retailer of drug and alcohol tests and lab services. We offer you access to FDA-approved tests to screen for individual substances, as well as multi-panel testing. We partner with Pharmatech, Inc, a SAMHSA, ISO, CLIA, and CAP licensed laboratory, to provide reliable results. We also offer pregnancy tests and medical supplies, all with a money-back guarantee.

At Countrywide Testing, we have a proven track record of over 25 years, and we provide accurate results at affordable prices. Since we are online, there is no need for you to reserve a time at a testing facility, travel to your appointment, and then wait days or weeks for your results. You deserve peace of mind with as little hassle as possible, so trust Countrywide Testing for all your drug testing needs. We'll deliver answers so that you can focus on the real task — getting the help your loved one needs.


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