Isoprostanes (IP) have been identified as reliable markers of in vivo oxidation injury. Recently, in vascular tissue and blood as well as urine of cigarette smokers, increased IP values have been discovered. We examined 47 adults (26 males, 21 females; aged 30-66 years), admitted to a cardiovascular unit on an outpatient basis, with various risk factors but without any sign of manifestation of atherosclerosis. Refraining from cigarette smoking for a few days resulted in a significant drop of plasma, serum, and urinary 8-epi-PGF(2alpha). Thereafter, a further continuous decrease was monitored, reaching a steady state after about 4 weeks after quitting cigarette smoking. Prevalues of 8-epi-PGF(2alpha) were higher, depending on the type and number of risk factors; the decrease after quitting, however, was comparable. These results indicate that exsmokers may rapidly recover from their enhanced in vivo oxidation.