Netflix and other streaming websites have taken over as the common mode of entertainment and content consumption worldwide. However, as a popular medium, which has the ability to influence the minds of young watchers, reportedly, the streaming giant has substantial number of smoking scenes in its programmes.
According to Deadline (via comicbook.com), in an update to its 2018 "While You Were Streaming" study, Truth Initiative found 1,209 total depictions of tobacco use in episodic programming in the 2016-2017 season. Of those, 866 were on Netflix. Of those Netflix-specific numbers, 292 were on Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, 262 on Stranger Things, and 233 on Orange Is the New Black.
CEO/president of Truth Initiative, said in a statement, ""We're seeing a pervasive reemergence of smoking imagery across screens that is glamorizing and re-normalizing a deadly addiction and putting young people squarely in the crosshairs of the tobacco industry."
Netflix has responded to the report by saying that it will try and reduce smoking imagery in its original shows, except where it is used for "historical or factual accuracy."
A statement on behalf of Netflix read in the matter, "Going forward, all new projects that we commission with ratings of TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films, will be smoking and e-cigarette free -- except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy."
As for programming geared towards older viewers, "there'll be no smoking or e-cigarettes unless it's essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it's character-defining (historically or culturally important.)"
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