Exposure to ozone causes symptoms, changes in lung function, and airway inflammation. We studied whether individuals who differ in lung-function responsiveness to ozone, or in smoking status, also differ in susceptibility to airway inflammation. Healthy subjects were selected on the basis of responsiveness to a classifying exposure to 0.22 ppm ozone for 4 h with exercise (responders, with a decrease in FEV1 > 15%; and non-responders, with a decrease in FEV1 < 5%). Three groups were studied: nonsmoker-nonresponders (n = 12), nonsmoker-responders (n = 13), and smokers (n = 13, 11 nonresponders and two responders). Each subject underwent two exposures to ozone and one to air, separated by at least 3 wk; bronchoalveolar and nasal lavages were performed on three occasions: immediately (early) and 18 h (late) after ozone exposure, and either early or late after air exposure. Recovery of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMN) increased progressively in all groups, and by up to 6-fold late after ozone exposure. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and IL-8 increased early (by up to 10-fold and up to 2-fold, respectively), and correlated with the late increase in PMN. Lymphocytes, mast cells, and eosinophils also increased late after exposure. We conclude that ozone-induced airway inflammation is independent of smoking status or airway responsiveness to ozone.