In order to determine whether smokers of cigarettes in the contemporary yield ranges of the German market (0.1-1.0mg nicotine, 1-10mg tar) differ in their actual exposure to various smoke constituents, we performed a field study with 274 smokers and 100 non-smokers. The following biomarkers were determined: In 24-h urine: Nicotine equivalents (molar sum of nicotine, cotinine, trans-3'-hydroxycotinine and their respective glucuronides), 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanol (NNAL, metabolite of the tobacco-specific nitrosamine 4-(methylnitrosamino)-1-(3-pyridyl)-1-butanone, NNK), 3-hydroxypropylmercapturic acid (metabolite of acrolein), trans,trans-muconic acid, S-phenylmercapturic acid (metabolites of benzene), 1-hydroxypyrene (metabolite of pyrene); in saliva: Cotinine and trans-3'-hydroxycotinine; in exhaled air: Carbon monoxide; in blood: Methyl-, hydroxyethyl-, cyanoethyl- (biomarker of acrylonitrile) and carbamoylethylvaline (biomarker of acrylamide) hemoglobin adducts. All biomarkers were found to be significantly higher in smokers compared to non-smokers and showed strong correlations with the daily cigarette consumption. Biomarker levels and per cigarette increases in smokers were at most weakly related to the machine-derived smoke yields. It is concluded that machine-derived yields of cigarettes from the contemporary German cigarette market have little or no impact on the actual smoking-related exposure determined by suitable biomarkers.