Netflix decided to minimize smoking in upcoming shows after Truth Initiative, an anti-smoking group, revealed research from their Stranger Things investigation.
Truth Initiatives claims that season 1 of Stranger Things had 182 instances of smoking and season 2 had 272 instances of smoking.
Stranger Things being a Netflix original based in the 80’s when smoking was considered typical and common.
Robin Kovel, CEO of Truth Initiative, told Variety that TV shows are glamorizing tobacco for children.
“Content has become the new tobacco commercial”
The impact of Stranger Things on children is unclear, but the presence of tobacco is clearly evident in the show.
Netflix seemingly agreed with Truth Initiative and announced that TV-14 and below shows will not show smoking or e-cigarettes except for cases of factual and historical accuracy.
“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression,” a company spokesman said in a statement to Variety. “We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”
Truth Initiatives also targeted Netflix shows such as The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, Orange is the New Black, and House of Cards for their smoking depictions
Netflix wasn’t the only subject of their investigation though. FX’s American Horror Story, Amazon’s The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, Hulu’s Gap Year, ABC’s Modern Family and Once Apon a Time were all signaled out as strong depicters of smokers.
Stranger Things takes the number one spot, though, when it comes to smoking on screen.
The Netflix original follows a group of friends in a town filled with mystery and the supernatural. It was always praised for its combinations of comedy, horror elements, good characters and a well-done story. Season 3 released on July 4, and Truth Initiative released the report a few days before the release.
It is unsure how Stranger Things will handle smoking in any future seasons in light of this report.
Devin is a recent graduate of the University of North Texas where he studied journalism. He enjoys story-driven adventure games, which makes Naughty Dog his favorite developer(Sic Parvis Magna). Devin will avidly say that Avatar: The Last Airbender is the best show with Breaking Bad following close behind.