Hughton was rewarded with a contract until the end of the 2010/11 season having helped the Magpies to the top of the Championship during his caretaker role.
Smith, handed the armband in the absence of Nicky Butt, told the club's official website: "The news was definitely welcomed among the lads. What he's achieved this season has been massive.
"But what he's done for the club in taking over the reins at difficult times in the past proves his commitment towards the football club.
"It was difficult again at the start of this season but he's done a brilliant job and the lads are right behind him.
"He's got this opportunity now and it's thoroughly deserved because of everything he's done."