Abstract This study aimed to determine the background incidence of micronuclei (MN), nucleoplasmic bridges (NPBs), and nuclear buds (NBUDs) in the peripheral blood lymphocytes of a population in the province of Çanakkale, Turkey. Seventy-one individuals living under similar socio-economic conditions, not exposed to an X-ray examination during the last six months, receiving no medical treatment and not involved in agricultural activities were evaluated. In addition to genetic end-points, the cytokinesis-block proliferation index (CBPI) was determined. MN and NBUD frequencies gradually increased with age. MN frequencies of the older group were ∼7 fold higher than those of the younger group. Multiple linear regression analysis showed that apart from age, no significant effects of various confounding factors on MN and NBUD were observed. NPB frequencies were affected by gender. In the present study, no statistically significant effect was found of smoking on the genetic end-points evaluated, which agrees with results from other studies.