From January 1967 to December 1987, 732 consecutive cases of oral squamous cell carcinoma were analysed at a Dental College and Hospital in Calcutta. Incidence of oral cancer was 47.73 per 100,000. Male:Female ratio was 1.76. Mean age was 52.07 years. Buccal mucosa was the commonest site involved, next was gingiva and alveolar ridge. Tobacco chewing, smoking and paan chewing were the deleterious habits which were significantly more common among the affected group compared to the control group.