Cytochrome P450 2A6 (CYP2A6) is involved in the C-oxidation of nicotine and in the metabolic activation of tobacco nitrosamines. Recent data have suggested that CYP2A6 genetic polymorphisms might play a role in tobacco dependence and consumption as well as in lung cancer risk. However, the previously published studies were based on a genotyping method that overestimated the frequencies of deficient alleles, leading to misclassification for the CYP2A6 genotype. In this study, we genotyped DNA from 244 lung cancer patients and from 250 control subjects for CYP2A6 (wild-type allele CYP2A6*1, and two deficient alleles: CYP2A6*2, and CYP2A6*4, the latter corresponding to a deletion of the gene) using a more specific procedure. In this Caucasian population, we found neither a relation between genetically impaired nicotine metabolism and cigarette consumption, nor any modification of lung cancer risk related to the presence of defective CYP2A6 alleles (odds ratio = 1.1, 95% confidence interval = 0.7-1.9).