Cotinine was measured in the serum, saliva, and urine of nonsmokers, passive smokers, and active smokers. Serum and saliva could not discriminate between nonsmokers and passive smokers. Mean urine cotinine was higher in passive smokers than nonsmokers but there was a great deal of intersubject overlap. Cotinine in all body fluids could separate active smokers from the other two groups. Among smokers, light smokers had lower levels than heavier smokers.