Clinical studies suggest that smokers have a higher than average risk of periodontal disease and poor oral health status. In 2003, the Canadian Community Health Survey--a multistage, nationwide household survey--asked a series of questions related to oral health status. This report is based on the population aged 18 and older who answered the optional module on oral health (33,777 respondents). This subsample represents a weighted population of 23.9 million. The overall survey response rate was 80.6%.In our sample, 24% of respondents were current cigarette smokers, 43% were former smokers and 33% had never smoked. The prevalence of current smoking declined with advancing age and was inversely associated with household income and level of education. The prevalence of edentulism was 15% among current smokers compared with 7% among those who had never smoked. In the dentate population, current smokers were less likely to have visited a dentist in the past 3 years and more likely to report sensitivity of teeth, tooth ache in the previous month, pain in the mouth or face and social limitations because of teeth. When age, sex, household income and dental insurance were controlled in a multivariate logistic regression model, current smokers and former smokers had higher odds of reporting oral-facial pain than people who had never smoked. Prevention of smoking onset and support for cessation of smoking could contribute to improved oral health status.