BALTIMORE (WJZ) — Attorneys general from 42 states, including Maryland, as well as Washington, D.C. sent a letter Wednesday to leaders of 14 different streaming services, asking the companies to limit tobacco use in videos popular among kids and teenagers.
In the letter, the bipartisan group urged streaming services to eliminate or exclude tobacco imagery from all content except that which is rated R or TV-MA, improve parental controls and stream anti-tobacco ads before all content involving tobacco use.
The group also asks the companies to only recommend tobacco-free content to kids and teens.
“While we recognize the strides many streaming companies have taken to build a new media marketplace, the industry has, perhaps unwittingly, given countless children the key to a Pandora’s box of tobacco imagery, which the U.S. Surgeon General has found causes young people to become smokers,” the letter reads.
The letter goes on to ask each company to identify a contact person with whom the attorneys general can speak about the issue by September 6.
CBS News reports streaming giant Netflix has said it will eliminate smoking and e-cigarette use in all of the shows it commissions rated TV-14 or PG-13 or below, “except for reasons of historical or factual accuracy.”