In order to examine in detail the relationship between alcohol drinking and risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung, a case-control study involving 160 cases of this cell type and 520 hospitalized controls was conducted in Uruguay in the time period January 1998-July 2000. Total alcohol intake was not associated with risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung (OR 1.2, 95% CI 0.6-2.1). Also beer drinking was not associated with risk of carcinoma (OR 0.6, 95% CI 0.3-1.6). On the other hand, wine drinking displayed a marginally significant reduction in risk (OR 0.4, 95% CI 0.2-1.1). On the contrary, hard liquor intake was associated with a 40% increase in risk of adenocarcinoma of the lung. These findings suggest that wine drinking has a protective effect in adenocarcinoma of the lung, whereas hard liquor increases moderately the risk of this cell type of lung cancer.