Netflix to Cut Down on Smoking on Screen Amid Criticism
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Netflix is feeling the heat.
The network has come under criticism for the amount of smoking shown in some of their programs, including the very popular Stranger Things, which just released Season 3.
Going forward, Netflix says they will work to reduce the amount of smoking shown in all of their TV14 and PG13 shows and movies.
A study from The Truth Initiative looked at 13 series on Netflix and traditional broadcast and found smoking was increased from the year before. Some of the series looked at included Stranger Things, Orange is the New Black, House of Cards, and Fuller House from Netflix, and The Big Bang Theory, The Walking Dead, American Horror Story, and Modern Family from traditional broadcast. The study found, “92% of the shows analyzed contained images of tobacco in the 2016-17 season, up from 79% in the 2015-16 season.” That means 28 million young people were exposed to smoking on television.
Netflix, in particular, almost tripled their smoking visuals from 2015-2016 to 2016-2017.
The issue is the correlation to kids who see smoking on screen and those who pick up the habit. The US Surgeon General says, kids “who get the most exposure to onscreen smoking [in movies] are about twice as likely to begin smoking as those who get the least exposure.”
Other networks are also taking action to kick the smoking habit from their shows. Disney has said they won’t put smoking in any G, PG, or PG13 films, unless it is historically accurate, or the result of smoking is negative.