Hemoglobin adducts of the activated carcinogenic aromatic amine 4-aminobiphenyl have been measured in a case-control study of lung cancer. Data obtained for lung cancer cases are compared to those obtained for controls that consisted of patients with either chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or non-pulmonary cancers. Both simple and multivariate analysis found a positive association of 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adducts with the quantity of tobacco smoked as determined by either urine cotinine or questionnaire data. No association was found between 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adducts and cancer diagnosis, and adduct levels were not related to remote tobacco use, i.e., total pack years of smoking. There was no association between the levels of adducts detected and the ability of an individual to metabolize debrisoquine (debrisoquine metabolic phenotype, CYP2D6). Whereas 4-aminobiphenyl-hemoglobin adduct levels reflected recent tobacco smoking, they were not correlated with lung cancer risk.