Gene expression profiling data can be used in toxicology to assess both the level and impact of toxicant exposure, aligned with a vision of 21st century toxicology. Here, we present a whole blood-derived gene signature that can distinguish current smokers from either nonsmokers or former smokers with high specificity and sensitivity. Such a signature that can be measured in a surrogate tissue (whole blood) may help in monitoring smoking exposure as well as discontinuation of exposure when the primarily impacted tissue (e.g., lung) is not readily accessible. The signature consisted of LRRN3, SASH1, PALLD, RGL1, TNFRSF17, CDKN1C, IGJ, RRM2, ID3, SERPING1, and FUCA1. Several members of this signature have been previously described in the context of smoking. The signature translated well across species and could distinguish mice that were exposed to cigarette smoke from ones exposed to air only or had been withdrawn from cigarette smoke exposure. Finally, the small signature of only 11 genes could be converted into a polymerase chain reaction-based assay that could serve as a marker to monitor compliance with a smoking abstinence protocol.