There’s at least one thing you shouldn’t plan on seeing if Eleven, Mike and the rest of the Hawkins gang returns for a fourth season. Following a controversial new report, Stranger Things and other young Netflix shows will be cigarette-free — well, mostly. The response from the streaming giant comes just a day after Stranger Things dropped its third season and only a few days after the anti-tobacco use group Truth Initiative released its findings.
In the study, Truth Initiative singled out Stranger Things as one of the worst offenders when it comes to smoking depicted onscreen. Two other Netflix series, The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt and Orange Is the New Black, were also named in the findings which indicated that Netflix’s onscreen smoking depiction of smoking had tripled in the last year. To remedy the report’s findings, Netflix has pledged that they will make big changes to their youth-oriented content moving forward.
“Netflix strongly supports artistic expression. We also recognize that smoking is harmful and when portrayed positively on screen can adversely influence young people. Going forward, all new projects that we commission with ratings of TV-14 or below for series or PG-13 or below for films, will be smoking and e-cigarette free — except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy,” a Netflix spokesperson told EW in a statement.
For the report, Truth Initiative kept track not only of cigarette smoking but also of the use of any tobacco products. Per the anti-tobacco organization, the rise in onscreen smoking is part of what could become a problematic pattern that leads to a rise in youth smoking. Of course, fans will undoubtedly notice that the changes weren’t implemented in time to reflect in season three of Stranger Things.
But, hey, maybe this means we’ll definitely be getting a season four and, even better, it’ll be cigarette-free.
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