The data from consecutive surveys of the Tucson Epidemiologic Study (1981-1988) were used to evaluate the relationship in cigarette smokers of respiratory symptoms and pulmonary function to tar, nicotine, and carbon monoxide (CO) yields of the cigarette. There were 690 subjects who reported smoking regularly in at least one survey, over age 15. After adjustment for intensity and duration of smoking and for depth of inhalation, the risk of chronic phlegm, cough, and dyspnea were not related to the tar and nicotine yields. In 414 subjects with pulmonary function tested in at least one of the three surveys the spirometric indices used were significantly related to the daily dose of tar, nicotine, and CO (product of the cigarette yield and daily number of cigarettes smoked). The effects were more pronounced for past than for current doses. However, the differentiation of pulmonary function due to various yields of cigarettes was small in comparison to the difference in pulmonary function between smokers and nonsmokers.