DNA adducts of carcinogens derived from tobacco smoke and cooked meat were identified by liquid chromatography-electrospray ionization/multistage tandem mass spectrometry (LC-ESI/MS/MS n) in saliva samples from 37 human volunteers on unrestricted diets. The N-(deoxyguanosin-8-yl) (dG-C8) adducts of the heterocyclic aromatic amines 2-amino-1-methyl-6-phenylimidazo[4,5-b]pyridine (PhIP), 2-amino-9H-pyrido[2,3-b]indole (AαC), 2-amino-3,8- dimethylmidazo[4,5-f]quinoxaline (MeIQx), and the aromatic amine, 4-aminobiphenyl (4-ABP), were characterized and quantified by LC-ESI/MS/MS n, employing consecutive reaction monitoring at the MS 3 scan stage mode with a linear quadrupole ion trap (LIT) mass spectrometer (MS). DNA adducts of PhIP were found most frequently: dG-C8-PhIP was detected in saliva samples from 13 of 29 ever-smokers and in saliva samples from 2 of 8 never-smokers. dG-C8-AαC and dG-C8-MeIQx were identified solely in saliva samples of three current smokers, and dG-C8-4-ABP was detected in saliva from two current smokers. The levels of these different adducts ranged from 1 to 9 adducts per 10 8 DNA bases. These findings demonstrate that PhIP is a significant DNA-damaging agent in humans. Saliva appears to be a promising biological fluid in which to assay DNA adducts of tobacco and dietary carcinogens by selective LIT MS techniques.