Anyone who has watched at least the first couple of episodes of “Stranger Things” season 3 has seen our pal, Chief Jim Hopper, smoking like a chimney while trying to drink away his pain. This obviously isn’t the first time smoking has featured in the popular sci-fi horror series, as both season 1 and 2 also widely featured tobacco usage.

As noted by The Wrap, after fingers were pointed at the streaming network about the amount of smoking on "Stranger Things" and other shows, Netflix has confirmed they will cut back on the deadly habit.

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Netflix going mostly smoking and e-cigarette free

A Netflix spokesperson shared a statement with CNN, in which they said all new and original series they commission which has ratings of TV-14 or below, or films with a PG-13 rating, will be smoke-free. They did make the condition that it would be included if it is considered important for factual or historical accuracy.

Any new Netflix projects aimed at older audiences will try and steer clear of cigarette or e-cigarette use unless it is character defining (Winston Churchill and a cigar might be a good example here), or necessary for the “creative vision of the artist.”

Netflix is further planning to include information about smoking in the ratings box which shows in the upper left corner of the screen when starting a series or Film.

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The streaming giant’s statement also said it “supports artistic expression,” but also recognises smoking is harmful to health and when shown positively on the screen can have a bad influence on young people.

Anti-tobacco group releases report

A report on tobacco use in television and streaming shows was released by The Truth Initiative, shortly prior to the release of season 3 of “Stranger Things.” The anti-tobacco advocacy group looked at 13 Netflix and other broadcast shows and found depictions of smoking were up during the 2016-2017 season compared to the previous year.

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Netflix shows tend to depict smoking more than other broadcast shows.

From season 1 to season 2 of “Stranger Things” the number of smoking depictions increased from 182 to 262. Taking shows like “The Walking Dead,” “House of Cards” and “Orange is the New Black” almost three-quarters of the smoking depictions featured cigarettes, while e-cigarettes rarely appeared.

Other shows also promote smoking

According to the report by The Truth Initiative, Netflix isn’t alone in depicting tobacco smoking, as there were examples in Amazon’s show “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel” and in “Gap Year,” released by Hulu.

According to experts and the Office of the Surgeon General in the United States, youths who watch onscreen smoking were twice as likely to take up the habit themselves, especially if the character they are watching is “cool.” This doesn’t only relate to series and films, however, as almost 50 percent of hip-hop and R&B music videos showed some form of smoking or vaping between 2013 and 2017.

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The habit also features widely in video games.

Getting back to "Stranger Things," someone even put together a video of how many times Hopper smoked in the first two seasons.

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