Purpose: X-ray repair cross-complementing (XRCC1) is one of the most important genes for the maintenance of genomic integrity and protection of cells from DNA damage. Although tobacco and alcohol consumption are the major risk factors for the development of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), sequence variation in XRCC1 gene may alter HNSCC susceptibility. Reports on the relationship between HNSCC and polymorphisms in XRCC1 gene have been inconsistent so far. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of XRCC1 Ar-g194Trp and Arg399Gln single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP), smoking and alcohol consumption with the risk of HNSCC in Turkish population and also to compare to these results with the ones from both Turkish and different populations in the literature. The frequencies of Arg194Trp and Arg399G1n SNPs were studied in 55 HNSCC and 69 healthy individuals.