Objective: To evaluate the construct and criterion validity of the Video Transportation Scale (VTS). Setting: Inpatient service of a safety net hospital in Birmingham, Alabama, USA. Method: We administered the VTS in the context of a randomized controlled trial of a DVD-delivered narrative-based intervention (stories) designed to encourage smoking cessation among hospitalized patients. Results: Factor analysis yielded a two-factor solution relating to engagement and attentional focus. Patients receiving the stories-based intervention had a higher score for engagement than control but stories patients and controls did not differ in reported attentional focus. The engagement factor demonstrated predictive validity in that patients with higher scores were more likely to report quitting smoking at two weeks. Conclusion: The VTS provides a rapid assessment of transportation that can be used in applied settings using video-based narratives. © The Author(s) 2010.