The plant powder "maras powder" (MP) has been used widely instead of cigarettes in the southeastern region of Turkey. The aim of this study was to assess the impacts of MP and cigarette smoking on the methylation and micronuclei (MN) formation in buccal cells of humans with a comparison to blood lymphocytes. DNA samples from 80 subjects (40 MP users, 20 tobacco smokers, 20 healthy volunteers) were analyzed for their genomic methylation status using Hpa II and Msp I digestions followed by a simple gel electrophoresis and ethidium bromide staining. A densitometric method was developed to measure the methylation in genomic DNA samples and the results were evaluated using a software program designed for this purpose. Buccal epithelial cells were collected from the same groups and examined for MN formation. The results indicated that a general genomic hypomethylation was present in almost all of the samples that were obtained from MP users and tobacco smokers. This hypomethylation was significant in MP users compared to smokers and healthy volunteers. The percentage of cells containing MN was 1.93 in MP users, 0.95 in healthy volunteers, and 1.82 in smokers. The MN frequency was significantly higher in MP users and smokers than in healthy volunteers. There was no statistical difference between smokers and MP users. Evidence indicates that MP usage induces DNA hypomethylation and increase frequency of MN formation.