Cigarette-smoke condensate and norharman were investigated either alone or in combination with a number of direct or indirect mutagens for the induction of sister-chromatid exchanges (SCEs) in Chinese hamster ovary (CHO) cells. Cigarette-smoke condensate and norharman induced SCEs in these cells, only in the presence of a metabolic activation system. The number of SCEs induced by the direct-acting mutagens mitomycin C and N-methyl-N'-nitro-N-nitrosoguanidine was decreased in the presence of cigarette-smoke condensate or norharman. However, cigarette-smoke condensate and norharman showed synergistic effects in combination with the indirect mutagens 2-acetylaminofluorene, 2-aminofluorene, N-hydroxy-acetylaminofluorene, 2-aminoanthracene and benzo[a]pyrene. No synergism was observed when CHO cells were treated simultaneously with cigarette-smoke condensate or norharman and the indirect mutagen cyclophosphamide.