The role of cigarette smoking on the risk of Hodgkin's disease remains controversial. To provide further information on the issue, we analysed data of a case-control study from northern Italy. The cases were 158 patients with incident, histologically confirmed Hodgkin's disease, and the controls were 316 patients, frequency-matched to the cases by age, sex and study centre, and admitted to the same network of hospitals for acute, non-neoplastic, non-alcohol- or non-tobacco-related conditions. Compared with those who had never smoked, the multivariate odds ratio was 0.54 for former and 0.85 for current smokers. No trend in risk was found for either the number of cigarettes smoked or the duration of consumption. None of the estimates, or the corresponding trends in risk, was statistically significant. Our results are consistent with those of several studies indicating no direct association between cigarette smoking and risk of Hodgkin's disease.