Abstract Background The Consortium of Hospitals Advancing Research on Tobacco (CHART) is a network of six projects and a research coordinating unit funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, the National Cancer Institute, the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Office of Behavioral and Social Science Research. The CHART projects will assess the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions initiated during hospitalization and continued post-discharge. Methods/design Along with a seventh project funded previously under the NIH Challenge grants, the CHART projects will assess smoking cessation strategies delivered to approximately 10,000 hospitalized smokers across a geographically diverse group of nearly 20 private, public, academic, and community hospitals. The CHART research coordinating unit at Kaiser Permanente Center for Health Research provides organizational and data coordination support, facilitating the development of common measures for combining data from multiple CHART projects. Discussion The targeted enrollment in CHART, if achieved, will represent the largest, most diverse pooled dataset of hospitalized smokers receiving smoking cessation assistance, and is designed to contribute to the dissemination and implementation of smoking cessation interventions provided by hospital systems.