Measuring the mutagenicity of urine is widely viewed as a means of evaluating human exposure to potentially genotoxic materials. Diet and cigarette smoking have both been reported to affect the mutagenicity of human urine, but the relationship between smoking status and the expression of diet-related urinary mutagenicity is unknown. It has been reported that some promutagens are more active in in vitro assays when tested in the presence of urine from smokers than when tested in the presence of urine from non-smokers. We aimed to determine whether the differences in urinary mutagenicity between smokers and non-smokers result from increased urinary mutagenicity from dietary heterocyclic amine mutagens in smokers compared with non-smokers. Groups of smokers and non-smokers (6-12) were given identical diets, previously shown to be low in heterocyclic amines and very low in mutagenicity. The diet consisted exclusively of raw food and of food cooked in boiling water. After a 2-day dietary stabilization period, 24-hour urine samples were collected for three consecutive days. The regimen was repeated in the following week. For comparison, both groups were also placed on a "western" diet, consisting of a variety of foods prepared by several cooking methods, designed to reflect what a typical United States family might consume. Urine was concentrated using XAD-2 resin and then assayed for mutagenic activity in the Ames test. The urine of smokers was significantly more mutagenic than that of non-smokers when on both the raw/boiled and the "western" diets. These results indicate that the increased urinary mutagenicity observed in smokers compared with non-smokers is not due to enhanced mutagenicity of diet-related heterocyclic amine mutagens in the urine of smokers.