In a cohort of women aged 40-64 at entry, 12 h urine samples were obtained at the beginning of a follow-up period of up to 15 years in which incident cases of lung cancer were registered as well as deaths from lung cancer. In this cohort a nested case-control study (n = 397) was carried out by measuring urinary cotinine. The method for quantitation of cotinine was sensitive enough to study lung cancer risk not only in active smokers but also in passive smokers. The results seem to indicate that cotinine estimations in single 12 h samples of urine are enough to predict lung cancer risk. Relative risk rose with increasing levels of nicotine intake already in the range associated with passive smoking. The smoking-related risk of adenocarcinoma was much less than that of other lung carcinomas.