Smoking among greenlandic schoolchildren is considered a major health hazard. Greenland is a modern society susceptible to social changes, including changes in family structure. The objective was to investigate if changes in the family, as a child development context, were affecting schoolchildren's smoking behaviour. The survey was carried out in February 1998 in all schools in Greenland in the context of the WHO Health Behaviour in School-Aged Children study. 3081 questionnaires were received, which gave a response rate of 68% of the total study population. The present sample from the HBSC study consists of 1648 students, 826 boys and 822 girls in the age groups 11, 13 and 15 years old. Descriptive statistics and a logistic regression model were applied. The results were that smoking prevalence among Greenlandic schoolchildren increased with age and was lower in boys than in girls. Daily smoking prevalence among 15 year olds was high, namely 50% among boys and 56% among girls. With regard to family structure, it was found that the odds ratio for smoking was higher when the child was living in an broken/restructured family versus living in a biological family. The influence of socio-economic class on smoking behaviour was weak and statistically insignificant, and age proved to be the strongest predictor of prevalence in smoking behaviour.