Short telomeres are known as one of the risk factors for human cancers. The present study was conducted to evaluate the association between 6 polymorphisms, which were related with short telomere length in the Korean population, and lung cancer risk using 1,100 cases and 1,096 controls. Among the 6 polymorphisms, TERT rs2853669 was significantly associated with increased lung cancer risk under a recessive model (odds ratio [OR]=1.38, 95% confidence interval [CI]=1.05-1.81, P=0.02). The effect of rs2853669 on lung cancer risk was significant in younger individuals (OR=1.73, 95% CI=1.18-2.54, P=0.005) and adenocarcinoma (OR=1.50, 95% CI=1.07-2.07, P=0.02). Our results suggest that a common functional promoter polymorphism, TERT rs2853669, may influence both telomere length and lung cancer risk in the Korean population.