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Netflix To Snuff Out (Some) Smoking In Original Programming Aimed At Younger Viewers

Netflix Original Series
Netflix Original Series "Stranger Things"

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Netflix has decided to nix depictions of smoking from original content rated TV-14 or PG-13 and under. 

The announcement comes after the release of a report from an anti-tobacco group that found that imagery of smoking in Netflix content had tripled last year, when compared to the year prior. The top offenders?  “Stranger Things,” “Orange Is The New Black,” and “Fuller House.” 

Netflix will allow exceptions for factual or historical accuracy, although it’s unclear, for example, if the popularity of cigarettes in the 80s would grant that exception for a show like “Stranger Things.” 

As reported by Indiewire, even adult content will need to justify scenes of smoking as necessary to the larger vision of the project. 

Do you think this is a responsible move by Netflix that will deter younger viewers from potentially swaying imagery of smoking? Or is this an unnecessary clamp down on artistic agency? If you’re a parent, how do you feel about smoking on the screen, especially in content meant for kids? 

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Todd Spangler, New York digital editor at Variety; he tweets @xpangler