Go figure



Imagine our surprise over this past weekend to hear that the prevailing theory now is that kids are influenced to smoke tobacco or pot by watching movie stars smoking on the silver screen or television. Who knew?

In truth, almost anybody with a lick of common sense.

Netflix, in particular, has come under fire for the high number of its shows depicting smoking in popular programming. It has announced it is cutting back on such scenes for general audiences after being called on its monster summer hit, “Stranger Things.” That show features more tobacco than any other program on streaming, broadcast or cable, NPR’s Weekend Edition reported. There is tobacco in every single episode.

Earlier this month, 43 state attorneys general asked streaming companies for better practices when it comes to showing tobacco use on screen. Some public health experts think pot should be next on the agenda. Netflix and others, it turns out, have not been so quick to move on marijuana in their programming.

To say there is more than a fair amount of monkey-see, monkey-do among younger Americans is a laughable understatement. It almost goes without saying that if some kids see “cool’ people smoking they will try to do the same, setting themselves up to be trapped in a terrible addiction. Do not ask us how we know.

But you have to wonder: If TV and movies can glorify tobacco and dope to influence younger folks to smoke, what about other things? What about the effects of nonstop violence in television and movie programming.

While studies of tobacco and dope’s effects are pretty clear on how dangerous they are, studies on the effects of violent programming are inconclusive, Hollywood tells us; that there is no concrete evidence that constant depictions of mayhem influences anybody to do anything. Movies, video games, television programming. No influence.

It really does not make much sense. On the one hand, the media are powerful enough to lure the young into smoking tobacco or dope, but not powerful enough desensitize younger Americans to violence.

Go figure.


  1. In regard to smoking in movies….WHO CARES!? How about parents raise their kids half-decent, and then when they come of age, let them decide if they want to smoke or not. I’m tired of the nanny state! I’m tired of these busy bodies telling me what I can or can’t watch, or smoke. I want to be free!

  2. In 1984 our T.V. died and I never replaced it. That is 35 years ago. My kids were age 2 and 6 and they just went on with life. A few years later my oldest daughter spent overnight with a neighbor family and when asked the next day how everything went she said. “All we did was watch T.V !!!” She went there to visit and was very disappointed. She is now 41 Y.O. and hardly ever watches any T.V. When I was a kid T.V. had GOOD shows but now T.V. is just Mind Control. Most kids no longer think or know any important information and that is VERY dangerous. When I was a kid most kids were never inside the house because they were outside in the fresh air getting good exercise. The absolute best thing to do to counteract bad T.V. is just get rid of it!!!!! What did people do before T.V. They read and played board games and just played and TALKED. Isn’t that a novel idea?????
    Seymour Marvin Mills Jr. sui juris

  3. In many ways, the lying media and Hollywood have more control over kids than even their parents. This isn’t the 1940s and the 1950s, those days are mostly gone and that’s a shame that we have lost values. Now the kids look up to fools like Angelina Jolie, Hanoi Jane and other communist hacks. It probably won’t be China or Russia that destroys this country but from within.

  4. Tobacco companies have been been buying their way on screen since the late 1920s. Neither the big studios’ voluntary movie ratings nor the TV producers” self-assigned TV ratings take tobacco into account. Coincidence?

    Given that smoking is still the #1 cause of preventable death — killing 480,000 American annually — and that 85% of smokers start as kids, giving parents almost no advance warning of smoking on screen seems like a bit of an oversight.

  5. If that’s fact, how about Robert dinero and the rest of the Democrat faithful pulling guns and shooting people on the big screen. Let’s ban the Democrats from the violent movies and make a major effort to disarm Chicago.

  6. There does seem to be many roles that accommodate leftist liberal actors in Hollywood. Maybe that is because it is so easy for them to relate to the character they are playing.In the 1950s we called those type of people communists now we call them liberals because it is more politically correct. The liberals get to decide what is politically correct in this country. I see you guys like Clint Eastwood and Tom Selleck in good guy roles. Clint Eastwood in his westerns always had that little stogie a
    He was smoking on and Tom Selleck was once a Marlboro Man but their roles alone never made me want to go out and buy a pack of cigarettes. Somebody has to be pretty simple-minded and in much need of a role model to go out and do that.

  7. The media and movies have ALWAYS depicted marijuana use as fashionable, harmless and fun. With high-potency cannabis now generally available and in many cases quite legal, we will be able to determine if that little fantasy is true and whether there are other consequences. What could possibly go wrong?

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