A £5m centre of excellence is being set up at the University of Nottingham as part of a UK wide study into the effects of smoking.
The UK Centre for Tobacco Control Studies, funded by the UK Clinical Research Collaboration, aims to help people to quit smoking.
It will also investigate the effects on children and teenagers who are exposed to tobacco smoke.
Newcastle, Cardiff, Belfast and Cambridge will host other centres.
Each centre will receive up to £5m in funding over the next five years.
Professor John Britton of the University of Nottingham said: "Smoking still kills more people in the UK than any other avoidable cause.
"Preventing smoking should be the highest priority for public health in this country, but research in this area has been sadly neglected.
"This award is a massive boost to all of the groups involved in the Centre, and we look forward to starting work."