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   NPR
Netflix said future shows aimed at its younger audiences will not depict smoking or e-cigarette use unless it is "essential." The streaming content giant also says information about smoking will be included as part of its ratings.
   Yahoo Finance
The report is released as millions of teens prepare to watch the season three premiere of "Stranger Things," which, for the second year in a row, is the worst offender. The show had a 44% increase in smoking from season one (182) to season two (262) and in its first two seasons, tobacco was depicted in every episode.
   Variety
Netflix said that going forward, all new shows it commissions with ratings of TV-14 or below (and all films rated PG-13 or below) will exclude smoking and e-cigarette use, except for “reasons of historical or factual accuracy.” The streamer also said new projects with higher ratings will not depict smoking or e-cigarette use “unless it’s essential to the creative vision of the artist or because it’s character-defining (historically or culturally important).”
   USA Today
“I’m hopeful a second year of our report showing a situation that's getting worse, not better, will have influence,” Truth Initiative President and CEO Robin Koval says. Koval wants to see programmers, "particularly those in streaming media," enact strong anti-tobacco policies. One existing example is a policy at Disney's film division, which forbids smoking scenes in films rated G, PG or PG-13, except in the case of historical figures or if the activity emphasizes the negative consequences.
   Cinema Blend

The depiction of smoking in American films has changed drastically in recent years. While there are classic for all ages filled with characters lighting up a cigarette or cigar, pressures extending from public heath concerns and accusations of glamorizing the practice have forced Hollywood to change its ways in the last decade. This was primarily accomplished through the actions of the MPAA, which started to take smoking into consideration when rating movies in 2007.

   China Daily
Xu Guihua, a senior adviser to the association and former deputy director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, said that, as in the past, no director or producer came to claim their awards on Friday. But she believes such publicity will remind the film and television industry to take responsibility and reduce tobacco footage in their works...The average number of tobacco-related scenes for a film last year was 12.3, a decline of nearly 50 percent compared with 2007, she said.
   Business Standard
As a filmmaker, I have pledged that from now onwards any actor will not smoke in my films. In my films, actors don't smoke usually, but in 'Om Shanti Om', the character played by Arjun Rampal smoked a cigarette...and we all know what happened with him in the end of the film...I have made a promise that I will never glorify smoking.
   Korea Times
As part of efforts to curb smoking by young people, the ministry will ban tobacco producers from using cartoon characters in their ads, while mandating anti-smoking ads in the introduction of dramas and movies containing smoking scenes.
   The Chronicle
In a Chronicle poll of 248 respondents, 80 students said they have used nicotine during their high school careers … “Smoking in movies always looks glamorous, but that’s just not what smoking is like in real life,” Amy Kronenberg [Harvard-Westlake School] ’20 said. “[Smoking] is gross and hardly ever looks cool. Just knowing what [smoking] does to your lungs removes all of the glamour.” [The Chronicle is the online student newspaper of Harvard-Westlake School, Los Angeles — Ed.]
   Truth Initiative
A coalition of eight national and international health organizations today urged The Walt Disney Company (Disney) to require its partner network, Vice, to terminate its relationship with Philip Morris International, the world’s largest manufacturer and seller of cigarettes.
   Korea Times
According to [Korea's] Ministry of Health and Welfare, 53.3 percent of dramas, 50.4 percent of films and 50 percent of webtoons depicted smoking … "Children and adolescents exposed to smoking scenes repeatedly are more likely to try smoking," a ministry official said. "We urge entertainment content creators and producers to refrain from showing smoking in content rated for minors."
   Politico
Sen. Markey (D-Mass.), a longtime advocate for protections around children and technology, sent letters during the congressional recess to a dozen tech CEOs questioning them about promoting youth smoking … The letters, signed also by Sens. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) and Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), raise concern about the prevalence of tobacco imagery in on-demand digital content popular with young audiences, “especially on streaming services such as Netflix and Hulu.”
   Senator Markey website

“Both film and television continue to expose children and adolescents to tobacco content conclusively proven to cause physical harm to young viewers,” write the Senators in their letters. “Indeed, the recent survey of tobacco content in the streaming series most popular among young viewers suggests that smoking levels in TV-MA rated shows are comparable to R-rated films and the levels in the TV-14 shows are comparable to PG-13 films.” 

The Senators' letters

The companies' replies:

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Amazon (309.03 KB)
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Applie (708.05 KB)
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AT&T (91.98 KB)
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CBS (176.22 KB)
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Disney (58.79 KB)
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Fox (49.46 KB)
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Google (Alphabet) (66.02 KB)
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Hulu (38.02 KB)
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NBC (264.44 KB)
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Netflix (942.93 KB)
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Sony (162.86 KB)
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Viacom (86.71 KB)
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   Press Trust of India
A senior official of the Delhi government has asked the Union Health Ministry to stop promotion of smoking and 'hookah' in the three web series - 'Made in Heaven', 'Mirzapur' and 'Four More Shots Please' being aired on Amazon Prime Video.
   India Today
A senior official of the Delhi government has written to the Union Health Ministry, the Maharashtra public health department and the organisers of the Filmfare Awards to "stop the advertisement, promotion and sponsorships" of tobacco brands in the 64th edition of the awards to be held [March 23] in Mumbai.
   Headstuff
Smoking in video games is used similarly to smoking in films; it is a quick and easy habit to give a character to convey them as careless, tough, and even cool. With so many teens and young adults eager to be depicted in these ways, it’s no surprise the influence video games are having.
   NY Daily News
Our results suggest that watching movie smoking accounts for about half a percent of the variance in teen smoking. Or, put another way, predicting what teens will smoke by only knowing what movies they watch is little better than a coin toss.
   The Hindu
PMK founder S. Ramadoss has written to Nadigar Sangam president M. Nasser on advising artists, especially leading heroes, to desist from smoking on-screen in their films. [Nadigar Sangam refers to the South Indian Artistes' Association (SIAA), India's actors union.]
   News18.com
"A strict compliance notice has been issued to the director, producers and actors of the recently released movie 'Badhaai Ho' asking them to remove smoking scenes as well brand promotions of tobacco products from the film as these are violations under Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act (COTPA)," said Additional Director (Health), Dr. S.K. Arora.
   Refinery29.com
After she wrote the JUUL into the script, Gamble says the production team checked with her to make sure she’d actually meant “JUUL.” “The interesting thing is, when something that is [a] brand becomes popular, there's always a lot of back and forth around that on TV,” Gamble says. “Even just mentioning a brand by name is a conversation with several departments because there [are] legalities around it.”
   CNN
Knutzen and her co-authors suggest that their findings could present an opportunity for the music industry to self-regulate. However, they note that previous efforts to do so have failed, and measures like the Recording Industry Association of America's parental advisory labels could entice youth rather than deter them.
   The New Indian Express
Tamil Nadu MP (and former Indian health minister) Dr. Anbumani Ramadoss has yet again criticized actor Vijay for his movie posters carrying images of him smoking...The Health and Family Welfare Department had sent a legal intimation notice to the actor, director AR Murugadoss and producer Sun Pictures for violating the Cigarettes and Other Tobacco Products Act, 2003.
   CALmatters
The Motion Picture Association of America, which has resisted efforts to censor tobacco, spent $674,000 on lobbying in Sacramento since the start of 2017 and donated $144,000 to candidates...Tobacco giants Altria and R.J. Reynolds have spent $79.6 million on California campaigns since 2015, including $1.64 million to Republican Party groups and $113,000 to Assembly health committee members.
   The London Economic
A study of the five national free-to-air stations found it occurred in one in three prime time programmes – and nearly one-in-ten (8%) adverts or trailers. Channel 5 was the biggest offender. The study published in Tobacco Control found the amount of tobacco content has hardly changed in five years – including before the watershed. For instance it is seen in about a third of soap operas, chat shows and news and current affairs programmes, around four-in-ten documentaries and drams, half of comedies and two-in-three cartoons – mainly The Simpsons.
   MoneyControl.com
India's government is looking into suggestions by a panel that short films be made to convey anti-smoking messages with those actors who are depicted as smoking on screen, a top official has said.
   Oracle News (Lagos)
Nigeria's federal government will "bring National Film and Video Censorship Board to the table." [Note: Nigeria's "Nollywood" claims to be the world's second most prolific film industry, after India's. See https://www.britishcouncil.org/voices-magazine/nollywood-second-largest-film-industry.]
   The Indian Express
[Given tobacco imagery in Neflix' first original Indian series, Sacred Games:] A health ministry official said, “Currently, sites that stream online content are not required to carry health warnings on tobacco. But after the recent decision to ratify the FCTC protocol against illicit tobacco trade we are looking at FCTC provisions dealing with cross-border tobacco advertisements.”
   Lincoln Journal-Star
The 'First Reformed' star admitted his "heart broke" when he realised his grandfather's insistence that smoking in movies inspired people to adopt the habit was true, but he's still against censoring real life on film. [Note: Ethan Hawke has smoked in each of his six top-grossing films since 2002, all but one R-rated. The Magnificent Seven (2016, Sony) was rated PG-13.]
   Int'l Business Times
Tamil actor-turned-politician Sarath Kumar has expressed his ire over the TV channels holding debates on "smoking scenes in movies." After the release of the first look of Thalapathy Vijay's SARKAR, PMK founder Anbumani Ramadoss slammed it as the lead actor Vijay posed smoking a cigarette. He said it promoted smoking and a similar stand was taken by the Tamil Nadu People's Forum for Tobacco Control. The Tamil TV channels picked this issue and starting holding debates on smoking scenes in movies and their impact.
   China Daily
Smoking scenes in Chinese movies and TV series have generally declined over the past decade, but not all producers are keen on extinguishing such on-screen depictions. Last year's figures were worse than in 2016, according to an anti-tobacco group.