Microvascular occlusion has been implicated as a possible causative factor of Dupuytren's contracture. Cigarette smoking is one of the most significant factors in the development of peripheral vasculopathy. The relationship between smoking and Dupuytren's contracture of the hand is explored in this article. One hundred thirty-two consecutive patients who had a partial fasciectomy for treatment of Dupuytren's contracture from 1980 to 1985, were analyzed retrospectively. There were 111 males and 21 females. Ninety (68.2%) of 132 patients smoked cigarettes compared with 110 (37.2%) of 296 randomized hospitalized control patients (p less than 0.00001). Eighty (72.1%) of 111 men smoked cigarettes compared with 65 (44.2%) of 147 male control patients (p = 0.000015). Cigarette smoking is linked statistically to Dupuytren's disease and may be involved in its pathogenesis by producing microvascular occlusion and subsequent fibrosis and contracture or by some other mechanism.