Tobacco smoke contains a variety of genotoxic carcinogens that form adducts with DNA and protein in the tissues of smokers. Not only are these biochemical events relevant to the carcinogenic process, but the detection of adducts provides a means of monitoring exposure to tobacco smoke. Characterization of smoking-related adducts has shed light on the mechanisms of smoking-related diseases and many different types of smoking-derived DNA and protein adducts have been identified. Such approaches also reveal the potential harm of environmental tobacco smoke (ETS) to nonsmokers, infants and children. Because the majority of tobacco-smoke carcinogens are not exclusive to this source of exposure, studies comparing smokers and nonsmokers may be confounded by other environmental sources. Nevertheless, certain DNA and protein adducts have been validated as biomarkers of exposure to tobacco smoke, with continuing applications in the study of ETS exposures, cancer prevention and tobacco product legislation. Our article is a review of the literature on smoking-related adducts in human tissues published since 2002.