BACKGROUND: It is well-known that a decline in the prevalence of smoking among physicians has preceded a decline in the general population. For the purpose of finding out the reason for lower smoking rate in Korean medical doctors than that of general population whether it is due to knowledge of toxicity related to smoking perceived as health professionals or as the only leader group in society this study was investigated. We selected lawyers as a representative of other professional groups. We investigated smoking rate, habits and attitudes towards smoking in Korean lawyers and compared the smoking rate and attitudes to wards smoking in lawyers with those of medical doctors. METHODS: This study investigates smoking rate, habits and attitudes towards smoking in Korean lawyers. An anonymous self-administered postal survey was used. One-third of registered lawyers were sampled according to stratified random sampling. Among 1,401 target population, 463 (38.3%) responded. RESULTS: Among male lawyers, 38.0% were current smokers, 38.9% were ex-smokers and 23.1% were non-smokers, while 7.7% were ex-smokers and 92.3% were non-smokers among female lawyers. The direct age-adjusted smoking rate among Korean male lawyers was 42.1%. CONCLUSION: In comparison of the direct age-adjusted smoking rate among male lawyers, medical doctors and general population in Korea, the rate in lawyers was 42.1%, medical doctors 34.9%, and general population 67.6%. The smoking rate of lawyers was found to be higher than that of medical doctors, but considerably lower than that of general population. In comparison of the attitudes towards smoking between lawyers and medical doctors, the lawyers were found to have a lower level of support in questions of the knowledge about the harmful effects of smoking and smoking bans on health than medical doctors.