BACKGROUND We conducted a structured review of controlled studies on inpatient hospital-based smoking cessation interventions. METHODS Electronic searches were conducted with two different search engines, and reference sections of articles located were also reviewed. The RE-AIM framework was used to organize the review around the issues of reach, efficacy, adoption, implementation, and maintenance of interventions. RESULTS Thirty-one intervention articles were located, 20 of which included a comparison condition and were included in the review. Overall, a moderate number of studies (13/20) reported on reach, which was highly variable and limited (30-50% in most studies), while few reported on implementation (7/20). Longer term cessation results produced relative risk ratios of 0.9-2.3, with a median of 1.5. Increases in quit rates above the control condition ranged from -1 to 10% (median 4%) among general admission patients and from 7 to 36% (median 15%) among cardiac admission patients. Studies with a dedicated smoking cessation counselor and 3-5 months of relapse prevention had a significant impact on cessation rates. Study settings (adoption) were limited to university, Veterans affairs, and HMO hospitals. Maintenance at the individual level was variable and related to the presence of a relatively intensive initial intervention and a sustained relapse prevention intervention. CONCLUSIONS Efficacious inpatient smoking programs have been developed and validated. The challenge now is to translate these interventions more widely into practice, given changing hospitalization patterns.