Since a relationship between cigarette smoking and the occurrence of Graves' ophthalmopathy has been recently postulated, we reviewed the smoking habits of 1730 women, including subjects without thyroid disease, with nontoxic goiter (NTG), toxic nodular goiter or toxic adenoma (TNG), Hashimoto's thyroiditis (HT), Graves' disease without ophthalmopathy (GD) or with ophthalmopathy (GO). The prevalence of smokers in NTG, TNG and HT was about 30%, not different from that of controls. Smokers were 47.9% in GD and 64.2% in GO groups. The latter figures were highly different from those of the other groups and also from each other. The percentage of heavy smokers was higher in patients with more severe ophthalmopathy. No clear explanation for this phenomenon can be offered. The absence of a high prevalence of smokers among patients with non-toxic goiter, nonautoimmune hyperthyroidism and Hashimoto's thyroiditis, limits the impact that smoking might have had in the pathogenesis of goiter, hyperthyroidism and autoimmune phenomena of GD and GO.