Several prominent Netflix shows have prominently featured casual smoking, with Stranger Things having featured the practice across its three seasons. However, the steaming service plans to change how it will approach depictions of smoking in the future.
Anti-smoking group Truth Initiative revealed the results of a study showing how popular shows among young audiences have increasingly involved smoking. Among them were Stranger Things. Truth Initiative’s analysis revealed Season 2 of the sci-fi/horror series had a 44% increase in depictions of smoking over the first season of the show.
Following the results of the study, Variety reports Netflix will change its standards on the practice for future original productions. In the future, any Netflix production that's rated TV-14 or below (as well as films rated PG-13 and below) will not feature smoking except in cases where "historical or factual accuracy" are required. Any original production that features smoking will include a new mention in its ratings.
Smoking will also be excluded from higher-rated projects unless the act is deemed essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s historically or culturally important. In a statement, a company spokesperson said ,"Netflix strongly supports artistic expression. We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people.”
Created by the Duffer Brothers, Stranger Things stars Winona Ryder, David Harbour, Finn Wolfhard, Millie Bobby Brown, Gaten Matarazzo, Caleb McLaughlin, Noah Schnapp, Natalia Dyer, Charlie Heaton, Joe Keery, Priah Ferguson, Cary Elwes, Jake Busey and Maya Thurman-Hawke.