Lung cancer risk was investigated in relation to single nucleotide polymorphisms in genes involved in the inflammatory response. The aim was to see if polymorphisms modifying the inflammatory response are associated with risk of lung cancer and if there were interactions between the same polymorphism and factors, which modify an inflammatory response, such as smoking status, duration, and intensity, and use of NSAID. The functional SNPs IL-1B T-31C, IL6 G-174C, IL8 T-251A, IL10 C-592T, COX2 C8473T, COX2 A-1195G and PPARgamma2 Pro(12)Ala were included. A case-cohort study including 428 lung cancer cases and a sub-cohort of 800 persons was nested within a population-based prospective study of 57,053 individuals. Variant allele carriers of IL-1B T-31C were at increased risk of lung cancer (IRR=1.51, 95% CI=1.08-2.12). There was interaction between the polymorphism COX-2 T8473C and smoking status. Thus, non-smoking variant allele carriers were at 5.75-fold (95% CI=1.25-26.43) higher risk of lung cancer than for homozygous wild type allele carriers. Lung cancer risk was similar for all genotype carriers among past and current smokers. There were, however, very few non-smoking lung cancer cases. There was interaction between IL-1B T-31C, COX-2 A-1195G and PPARgamma2 Pro(12)Ala and NSAID use in relation to lung cancer risk. For the two latter, NSAID use was only associated with a lower cancer risk among homozygous wild type allele carriers. p for interaction was 3 x 10(-6) for COX-2 A-1195G and 9 x 10(-5) for PPARgamma2 Pro(12)Ala. The results suggest that NSAID use may modify risk of lung cancer differently depending on the genotype.