For decades men in Sweden have smoked at far lower rates than those in comparable countries. Previous studies showed that snus use played a major role in low smoking rates among men in northern Sweden; daily smoking declined from 19% (95% CI 16-22%) in 1986 to 11% (CI 8.9-14%) in 1999. The prevalence of smoking among all men is now 9% (CI 7.0-11%) and only 3% (CI 0.1-5.4%) among men age 25-34 years; the prevalence of exclusive snus use is 27% (CI 24-30%) and 34% (CI 27-42%) respectively. Combined smoking and snus use, an unstable and transient category, was under 5% in all surveys and was 2.2% (CI 1.4-3.4%) by 2004. For the first time snus use is also associated with a decrease in smoking prevalence among women. These patterns of tobacco use have implications for all smoking-dominated societies.