Data from the Second National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey were analyzed to determine food and nutrient intake differences between current smokers (also categorized as light, moderate, and heavy smokers) and non-smokers. Smokers in several age-race-sex categories have lower intakes of vitamin C, folate, fiber, and vitamin A than non-smokers, and intake tended to decrease as cigarette consumption increased, particularly for vitamin C, fiber, and folate. Smokers were less likely to have consumed vegetables, fruits (particularly fruits and vegetables high in vitamins C and A), high fiber grains, low fat milk, and vitamin and mineral supplements than non-smokers. A negative linear trend was found between smoking intensity and intake of several categories of fruits and vegetables. These data suggest that the high cancer risk associated with smoking is compounded by somewhat lower intake of nutrients and foods which are thought to be cancer protective.