There have been several debates about showing scenes about characters smoking on-screen as to whether how influencing that is in real life on the viewers. Several surveys have also taken place sealing that it indeed is but then there is always a counter-point about losing out on the artistic expression.
Netflix, the largest streaming service of all has also been under fire for a similar thing and one of its prime offenders has supposedly been Stranger Things. So now, according to a report in Deadline, Netflix is vowing to stub out the practice, or at least curtail it, in new projects.
While committing itself to “artistic expression,” the streaming service responded to a new Truth Initiative study by recognizing “that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people” and by pledging that going forward all new commissioned projects with ratings of TV-14 or below for series (PG-13 or below for films) will be smoking and e-cigarette free “except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy.”
For new projects aimed at 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).”
Netflix also vowed that starting later this year, smoking information will be included as part of its age-appropriate ratings “so our members can make informed choices about what they watch.”