Netflix has been hit with criticism by an anti-smoking organisation, which has released research claiming its original programmes have more than twice as many scenes featuring smoking characters as its rivals.
Truth Initiative, a US public health organisation, identified the 14 most popular shows with viewers aged 15-24 across broadcast and cable providers. It found Netflix shows featured a total of 319 “tobacco incidents” with Stranger Things top of the list for 182 scenes featuring cigarettes.
AMC’s The Walking Dead was the next highest, featuring 94 scenes showing tobacco use. But the list was mostly filled with Netflix content, with other titles including Orange Is the New Black (45), House of Cards (41), Fuller House (22), and Making a Murderer (20).
Robin Koval, CEO and president of Truth Initiative, said the rise of streaming channels had led to “a pervasive re-emergence of smoking across screens that is glamourising and renormalising a deadly habit to millions of impressionable young people”.