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Nicotine dependence is associated with an increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders and suicide. The primary hypothesis of this study was to identify whether the polymorphisms of two glutathione-S-transferase enzymes (GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes) predict an increased risk of mood and anxiety disorders in smokers with nicotine dependence.Smokers were recruited at the Centre of Treatment for Smokers. The instruments were a sociodemographic questionnaire, Fagerström Test for Nicotine Dependence, diagnoses of mood disorder and nicotine dependence according to DSM-IV (SCID-IV), and the Alcohol, Smoking and Substance Involvement Screening Test. Anxiety disorder was assessed based on the treatment report. Laboratory assessment included glutathione-S-transferases M1 (GSTM1) and T1 (GSTT1), which were detected by a multiplex-PCR protocol.Compared with individuals who had both GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes, a higher frequency of at least one deletion of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes was identified in anxious smokers [odds ratio (OR)=2.21, 95% confidence interval (CI)=1.05–4.65, P=0.034], but there was no association with bipolar and unipolar depression (P=0.943). Compared with nonanxious smokers, anxious smokers had a greater risk for mood disorders (OR=4.67; 95% CI=2.24–9.92, P<0.001), lung disease (OR=6.78, 95% CI=1.95–23.58, P<0.003), and suicide attempts (OR=17.01, 95% CI=2.23–129.91, P<0.006).This study suggests that at least one deletion of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes represents a risk factor for anxious smokers. These two genes may modify the capacity for the detoxification potential against oxidative stress.