"From a personal point of view I would have loved to have played on for a lot longer but unfortunately we don't live in a flawless world and those things don't happen", Smith said.
At a press conference, Smith said it was the difficulty returning to the Storm after playing State of Origin that led to his decision.
The 34-year-old Smith announced the decision Tuesday, three weeks out from the start of the annual interstate Origin series against New South Wales.
"It's a decision that I did take a lot of time to come to but in the end the reasons for not playing on far outweighed reasons to play on this year". "I couldn't quite back up after any of those Origin matches and maybe that was a sign there that it was time". Smith will continue to play at the club level for the Melbourne Storm in Australia's National Rugby League.
Queensland Maroons half Cooper Cronk celebrates try against NSW Blues with teammates Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
Queensland coach Kevin Walters paid glowing tribute to Smith, saying the Maroons would not be able to replace him with anyone similar.
"I thought his performance in game three of previous year was one of the best I have seen from anyone at that level and at age 34 that speaks volumes", said Walters.
Kangaroos and Queensland captain Cameron Smith is set to announce his retirement from representative rugby league football, effective immediately.
"We've lost our captain, our leader and our goal-kicker so it's a big loss for Queensland but it had to happen one day".
On social media tributes flowed for Smith, who played 42 games for the Maroons (2003-2017) and 56 Test for the Kangaroos (2006-2017).
This means Smith won't play in the upcoming Origin series, leaving a hole in the No. 9 jersey for Queensland.
In that period he has missed just one game - the series opener in 2010 due to injury - and won a record 26 matches.