Either G-2964 or A734 in the human CYP1A2 gene was confirmed to be associated with high inducible enzyme activity in smokers, but not in nonsmokers. In this study, for the first time, we observed an association between phenotypes and genotypes of CYP1A2 with respect to the two genetic polymorphisms in 163 healthy Chinese volunteers living in Qidong. The ratio of plasma 17X/137X at 6 h after oral administration of 300 mg caffeine was employed in CYP1A2 phenotyping analysis, while genotyping analysis was carried out by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism. The allele frequencies of A at -2964 and A at 734 in 139 non-smoking subjects were 0.25 and 0.67, respectively. The A/A-2964C/C734, G/A-2964C/C734 or A/A-2964C/A734 genotype that was thought to have lower inducibility/activity of CYP1A2 than the other genotypes did not exist in the tested Chinese subjects. The ratio of 17X/137X was 0.46 +/- 0.26 in G/G-2964A/A734 genotypes (n = 22) and 0.36 +/- 0.19 in non-G/G-2964A/A734 (n = 117). In addition, there was significant difference between them (P = 0.036). A similar result was also achieved in 24 smokers. Since Qidong is a special region with particularly high incidence of hepatocellular carcinoma in China, the association of phenotypes with genotypes of CYP1A2 in the Qidong population might result from some inducible environmental factors such as those of cigarettes in smokers.