Multiple twin, family, and genetic studies have rendered substantial evidence supporting an association between hereditary factors and smoking initiation and maintenance. To investigate further the relationships between the DRD2 genotypes, cigarette use and nicotine dependence, we examined the prevalence of polymorphisms in the TaqIA (A1 and A2) and the TaqIB (B1 and B2) alleles among a series of 608 non-Hispanic White bladder cancer patients and 608 matched controls. Among ever-smoking controls, A1 and B1 genotypes exhibited a greater smoking intensity and were significantly younger at the age of initiation than A2A2 or B2B2 genotypes (two-sided P < 0.05). Among former smoking cases, persons with the A1 genotypes exhibited significantly higher mean pack-years and years of smoking, and were younger at the age of initiation than were persons with the A2A2 genotype (two-sided P < 0.05). Additionally, current smokers with the A1 genotypes reported fewer quit attempts than those with the A2A2 genotype (two-sided P < 0.01). The present study suggests that the DRD2 alleles A1 and B1 confer greater vulnerability to tobacco use.