Objectives: Cigarette smoke contains free radicals, which cause injury to endothelial cells and oxidize bioactive components in the blood. Neutrophils, a subpopulation of leukocytes, contain the enzyme myeloperoxidase that mediates production of hypochlorous acid during oxidative stress. In this study, we investigated whether smoker industrial workers had significantly higher neutrophil counts than nonsmoker industrial workers. Design and Methods: We collected blood samples from 183 apparently healthy male and 30 female industrial workers. We obtained blood cell counts, measured the concentration of plasma aminothiols and determined the concentration of serum and erythrocyte folate and serum vitamin B12 in the samples. Results: Smoker industrial workers had significantly higher neutrophil, lymphocyte, monocyte, eosinophil and basophil counts than nonsmoker industrial workers (p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001, p < 0.0001 and p = 0.01, respectively). Mean corpuscular volume and mean corpuscular hemoglobin in smoker industrial workers were higher than in nonsmoker industrial workers (p = 0.001 and p = 0.03). Conclusion: Our study demonstrates that smoker industrial workers have higher neutrophil counts than nonsmoker industrial workers. Therefore, our observations suggest that smokers may become more easily prone to chronic inflammation than nonsmokers. About 84% of the study participants were male subjects; therefore, our findings may be more representative for men than women.

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