The authors surveyed 614 African American university students to determine the magnitude of cigarette use, identify risk factors, and develop models to predict smoking. More than half (58.3%) of the participants had smoked at least once, and 9.3% of that group were lifetime smokers. Among the lifetime smokers, 71.3% had smoked during the 30 days preceding the survey. More women (66.8%) than men (56.1%) had tried smoking and were classed as lifetime smokers. Residence, parental, and peer smoking (current and childhood) were associated with trying smoking; age, race/ethnicity, and marital status were additional factors for becoming a lifetime smoker. The risk of being a lifetime smoker was reduced when neither friends nor parents of the student smoked and the student viewed spirituality as important. The results of this study add to the growing understanding of health risk behaviors among African Americans and can be useful in reducing smoking.