Many risk factors have been proposed for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). However, there is little information about the relationship between lifestyles and SLE in Japan. Two case control studies were conducted in Kyushu, southern Japan, and in Hokkaido, northern Japan, to examine the relationship between lifestyles and development of SLE in females. The participants were 78 patients and 329 controls in Kyushu and 35 patients and 188 controls in Hokkaido. Smoking was associated with an increased risk of SLE after adjusting for age in both regions. However, in Hokkaido, this association between smoking and SLE did not reach statistical significance after adjusting for alcohol drinking. The present study suggests that smoking may increase the risk of SLE among Japanese females.