Emerging preclinical data suggests that tea possess anticarcinogenic and antimutagenic properties. We therefore hypothesize that white tea extract (WTE) is capable of favorably modulating apoptosis, a mechanism associated with lung tumorigenesis. We examined the effects of physiologically relevant doses of WTE on the induction of apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines A549 (adenocarcinoma) and H520 (squamous cell carcinoma) cells. We further characterized the molecular mechanisms responsible for WTE-induced apoptosis, including the induction of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPAR-gamma) and the 15-lipoxygenase (15-LOX) signaling pathways. We found that WTE was effective in inducing apoptosis in both A549 and H520 cells, and inhibition of PPAR-gamma with GW9662 partially reversed WTE-induced apoptosis. We further show that WTE increased PPAR-gamma activation and mRNA expression, concomitantly increased 15(S)-hydroxy-eicosatetraenoic acid release, and upregulated 15-LOX-1 and 15-LOX-2 mRNA expression by A549 cells. Inhibition of 15-LOX with nordihydroguaiaretic acid (NGDA), as well as caffeic acid, abrogated WTE-induced PPAR-gamma activation and upregulation of PPAR-gamma mRNA expression in A549 cells. WTE also induced cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 1A mRNA expression and activated caspase-3. Inhibition of caspase-3 abrogated WTE-induced apoptosis. Our findings indicate that WTE is capable of inducing apoptosis in non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. The induction of apoptosis seems to be mediated, in part, through the upregulation of the PPAR-gamma and 15-LOX signaling pathways, with enhanced activation of caspase-3. Our findings support the future investigation of WTE as an antineoplastic and chemopreventive agent for lung cancer.