Genetic polymorphisms of the genes encoding for the xenobiotic metabolizing enzymes result in individual variations in the efficiency of detoxification of environmental carcinogens, and have been extensively associated with variable risk for lung neoplasms in different ethnic and environmental backgrounds. In this study, using PCR-RFLP based assays, we investigated the distribution of genetic polymorphisms in CYP1A1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 genes in Greek lung cancer patients (N=122) and healthy controls (N=178). The frequency of CYP1A1 m1 homozygous genotype was 0.04 in patients and 0.02 in controls (detected in 4.10% of patients and in 1.69% of controls, respectively), that of GSTM1 null genotype was 0.52 in patients and 0.54 in controls, whereas those of GSTT1 null genotype was 0.17 and 0.11, in patients and controls, respectively. The GSTM1 null genotype was more frequent in adenocarcinoma, as well as in lung cancer patients with history of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The GSTT1 null genotype correlated with advanced age of the patients at the time of diagnosis. Three combinations of rare genotypes - in subjects carrying simultaneously deviations from the common genotype in more than one gene - were over-represented in lung cancer patients, compared to control population, and were furthermore significantly associated with history of heavy tobacco consumption in lung cancer patients. The results imply involvement of specific genotype combinations of CYP1A1, GSTM1 and GSTT1 alleles in the development of lung cancer in heavy smokers.