Individuals who smoke generally have a lower body mass index (BMI) than nonsmokers. The relative roles of energy expenditure and energy intake in maintaining the lower BMI, however, remain controversial. We tested the hypothesis that current smokers have higher total energy expenditure than never smokers in 308 adults aged 40-69 years old of which 47 were current smokers. Energy expenditure was measured by doubly labeled water during a two week period in which the subjects lived at home and performed their normal activities. Smoking status was determined by questionnaire. There were no significant differences in mean BMI (mean ± SD) between smokers and never smokers for either males (27.8+5.1 kg/m2 vs. 27.5+4.0 kg/m2) or females (26.5+5.3 kg/m2 vs. 28.1+6.6 kg/m2), although the difference in females was of similar magnitude to previous reports. Similarly, total energy expenditure of male smokers (3069+764 kcal/d) was not significantly different from that of never smokers (2854+468 kcal/d), and that of female smokers (2266+387 kcal/d) was not different from that of never smokers (2330+415 kcal/d). These findings did not change after adjustment for age, fat-free mass and self-reported physical activity. Using doubly labeled water, we found no evidence of increased energy expenditure among smokers, however, it should be noted that BMI differences in this cohort also did not differ by smoking status.