A 20-year-old man with a 15 pack-year history of cigarette smoking had a tattoo outlined on his back with blue pigment. He noticed a dry cough and shortness of breath on exertion when the pigment of other colors was added at the age of 27. He visited our hospital two years later because of severe dyspnea. He was diagnosed with desquamative interstitial pneumonia by surgical lung biopsy. Steroid therapy with cessation of smoking was partially effective, however his disease worsened again and he died three and a half years after the diagnosis because of respiratory failure.