Since 1969, studies of Swedish doctors' tobacco habits and attitudes have been carried out regularly every fifth year. The present investigation was made in 2001 in the form of a questionnaire distributed to a random sample of 5% of Swedish doctors (n = 1,367). The response rate was 80%. The proportion of daily smokers was 6%, a figure that had not changed since 1996. More doctors had never smoked (44% compared with 38% in 1996). Most smokers were found among psychiatrists and surgeons (10%). The use of oral snuff had increased to 16% among male and 5% among female doctors (compared with 9% and 3% in 1996). About 50% of the doctors believed that the use of snuff increased the risk of hypertension, angina pectoris, myocardial infarction and oral cancer. Protection of health was the main reason for not smoking (98%). An overall majority (92%) of doctors advise patients with lung diseases and pregnant women not to smoke, and only a few (16%) never give advice about smoking cessation to smokers with non-smoking related diseases. Many doctors do not allow smoking in their homes (69%) and ask for smoke free hotel rooms (82%). The doctor as a role model for patients was regarded as important by 71%. The number of smokers in the general Swedish population was as low as 19% in 2001, achieving the WHO goal for the year 2000. The low, unchanged level of 6% of doctors who smoke daily indicates that it might be possible to achieve a target level of 5-10% among the general population. The slowly increasing use of snuff requires further studies.