Previous studies have demonstrated that perinatal nicotine exposure increased blood pressure (BP) in adult offspring. However, the underlying mechanisms were unclear. The present study tested the hypothesis that perinatal nicotine-induced programming of hypertensive response is mediated by enhanced reactive oxygen species (ROS) in the vasculature. Nicotine was administered to pregnant rats via subcutaneous osmotic mini-pumps from Day 4 of gestation to Day 10 after birth, in the absence or presence of the ROS inhibitor N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC) in the drinking water. Experiments were conducted in 8-mo-old male offspring. Perinatal nicotine treatment resulted in a significant increase in arterial ROS production in offspring, which was abrogated by NAC. Angiotensin II (Ang II)-induced BP responses were significantly higher in nicotine-treated group than in saline-treated control group, and NAC treatment blocked the nicotine-induced increase in BP response. Consistent with that, the nicotine treatment significantly increased both Ang II-induced and phorbol [12, 13]-dibutyrate (PDBu, a Prkc activator)-induced arterial contractions in adult offspring, which were blocked by NAC treatment. In addition, perinatal nicotine treatment significantly attenuated acetylcholine-induced arterial relaxation in offspring, which was also inhibited by NAC treatment. Results demonstrate that inhibition of ROS blocks the nicotine-induced increase in arterial reactivity and BP response to vasoconstrictors in adult offspring, suggesting a key role for increased oxidative stress in nicotine-induced developmental programming of hypertensive phenotype in male offspring.