A six-month survey of 828 patients admitted to the Coronary Care Unit (CCU) of the General Hospital, Kuala Lumpur was carried out to ascertain whether the smoking habits of the patients predisposed them to definite coronary events and its immediate outcome i.e. early mortality (within seven days). The various ethnic groups were also screened to determine if they were at increased risk to coronary events in relation to other known risk factors. Three hundred and eleven patients - 239 males, and 72 females - had confirmed acute myocardial infarctions of whom 190 were smokers (172 males, and 18 females). Sixty-nine infarct patients died within the first seven days post-Ml: 35 were smokers (50.7%). Two-hundred and eighty other patients had non-infarct coronary events. Of these, 167 were smokers. In contrast, only 99 out of 237 patients admitted for non-coronary events, were smokers. It thus appeared that patients admitted to the CCU for suspected cardiac events had a greater incidence of confirmed acute myocardial infarction or acute coronary events if they were smokers (p < 0.001). Mortality from these coronary events was not seen to increase among smokers in this population sample. Women who smoked as a whole, were not found to be at increased risk to coronary events, but women smokers 60 years and older were shown to be at increased risk to developing confirmed coronary events (p < 0.01).