Since aged and diluted smoke particles are in general smaller and more stable than mainstream tobacco smoke, it should be possible to model their deposition on the basis of their measured particle diameters. However in practice, measured deposition values are consistently greater than those predicted by deposition models. Thus the primary objective of this study was to compare theoretical predictions obtained by the Monte Carlo code IDEAL with two human deposition studies to attempt to reconcile these differences. In the first study, male and female volunteers inhaled aged and diluted sidestream tobacco smoke at two steady-state concentrations under normal tidal breathing conditions. In the second study, male volunteers inhaled aged and diluted sidestream smoke labelled with 212Pb to fixed inhalation patterns. Median particle diameters in the two studies were 125 nm (CMD) and 210 nm (AMD), respectively. Experimental data on total deposition were consistently higher than the corresponding theoretical predictions, exhibiting significant inter-subject variations. However, measured and calculated regional deposition data are quite similar to each other, except for the extra-thoracic region. This discrepancy suggests that either the initial particle diameter decreases upon inspiration and/or additional deposition mechanisms are operating in the case of tobacco smoke particles.