Netflix Criticized Over Smoking In Its Original Shows
Truth Initiative, a US anti-smoking group, has criticized Netflix for producing original programming that contains twice as many smoking scenes as its rivals. The US public health organization identified the 14 most popular shows among viewers aged 15-24 years old across Netflix as well as broadast and cable providers. It found that Netflix contained 319 "tobacco incidents" compared to 139 on popular broadcast and cable shows.
Science fiction-horror hit Stranger Things was identified as the worst offender with 182 smoking scenes, far more than any of the other 13 shows on the list. It was followed by AMC's The Walking Dead which had 94. It can of course be argued that in the case of Stranger Things, both Joyce Byers played by Winona Ryder and Jim Hopper played by David Harbour, send out a negative message to today's youth as they puff away on their cigarettes.
It also has to be pointed out that a large degree of Stranger Things' appeal lays in its 1980s setting, when smoking was far more widespread. Without characters sparking up, surely it just wouldn't feel like a 1980s scenario. Despite the controversy, it can surely be agreed that all of those creepy happenings aren't the only threat to the residents of Hawkins, Virginia. As long as the "tobacco incident" count remains so high, heavy smoking will likely lead to an early death for most of the adult characters in the show anyway.
This chart shows the total number of tobacco incidents in Netflix & broadcast/cable shows (2015/16 seasons)*
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