The glutathione S-transferase (GST) supergene family is an important part of cellular enzyme defense against endogenous and exogenous chemicals, many of which have carcinogenic potential. The present investigation was conducted to detect a possible association between polymorphisms at the GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 genes and the interaction with cigarette smoking and colorectal cancer incidence. We examined 181 patients with colorectal cancer and 204 controls. DNA was extracted from whole blood, and the GSTM1, GSTT1, and GSTP1 polymorphisms were determined using a real-time polymerase chain reaction and fluorescence resonance energy transfer with a Light-Cycler instrument. Associations between specific genotypes and the development of colorectal cancer were examined by use of logistic regression analysis to calculate odds ratios ( OR) and 95% confidence intervals (CI). The GSTM1 polymorphism was associated with an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer ( OR = 1.62, 95% CI: 1.06 - 2.46). Also the risk of colorectal cancer associated with the GSTT1 null genotype was 1.64 ( 95% CI: 1.10 - 2.59). Statistically no differences were found between patients with colorectal cancer and control groups for the GSTP1 Ile/Ile, Ile/Val and Val/Val genotypes. In addition, the frequencies of the GSTM1 and GSTT1 deletion genotypes differed significantly between the cases and controls for current smokers; the GSTT1 null genotype especially is associated with a greater risk of colorectal cancer ( OR = 2.44, 95% CI: 1.24 - 4.81). The GSTM1 and GSTT1 deletions were associated with an increased risk of developing a transverse or rectal tumor ( OR = 1.86, 95% CI: 1.15 - 3.00; OR = 1.70, 95% CI: 1.02 - 2.84; respectively). The glutathione S-transferase polymorphisms were not associated with risk in patients stratified by age. The risk of colorectal cancer increased as putative high-risk genotypes increased for the combined genotypes of GSTM1 null, GSTT1 null, and either GSTP1 valine heterozygosity or GSTP1 valine homozygosity ( OR = 2.69, 95% CI: 1.02 - 7.11). In conclusion, the results obtained in this study clearly suggest that those susceptibility factors related to different GST polymorphic enzymes are predisposing for colorectal cancer.