Cigarette smoke is well known for its adverse effects on human health, especially on the lungs. Basic research is essential to identify the mechanisms involved in the development of cigarette smoke-related diseases, but translation of new findings from pre-clinical models to the clinic remains difficult. In the present study, we aimed at comparing the gene expression signature between the lungs of human smokers and mice exposed to cigarette smoke to identify the similarities and differences. Using human and mouse whole-genome gene expression arrays, changes in gene expression, signaling pathways and biological functions were assessed. We found that genes significantly modulated by cigarette smoke in humans were enriched for genes modulated by cigarette smoke in mice, suggesting a similar response of both species. Sixteen smoking-induced genes were in common between humans and mice including six newly reported to be modulated by cigarette smoke. In addition, we identified a new conserved pulmonary response to cigarette smoke in the induction of phospholipid metabolism/degradation pathways. Finally, the majority of biological functions modulated by cigarette smoke in humans were also affected in mice. Altogether, the present study provides information on similarities and differences in lung gene expression response to cigarette smoke that exist between human and mouse. Our results foster the idea that animal models should be used to study the involvement of pathways rather than single genes in human diseases.