Montana Attorney General Tim Fox has joined with 43 other state attorneys general in urging video streaming services to reduce the use of tobacco in programming rated for children.

“What we found with those streaming services like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others was that there has been an uptick in the amount of tobacco use imagery in their video content,” said Fox. “My office joined a bipartisan coalition of 43 attorneys general in sending a letter to the streaming industry asking them to limit tobacco use in their video content, particularly as it is targeted at children.”

Fox related the several ratings that are directed toward child viewers.

“If anyone is familiar with the ratings system, there’s TV/Y, TV/Y7, TV/G, TV/PG, TV/14, G, PG, PG-13, those are the ratings that we’re targeting,” he said. “Imagery of tobacco we believe should only be directed at ratings such as TV-MA or TV-R.”

Fox explained the importance of keeping positive images of tobacco use away from impressionable minors.

“We have to do everything we can to keep young people in particular from entering into tobacco use,” he said. “Smoking is still the greatest preventable killer in the United States with over 480,000 deaths per year.”

A 2018 study found the streamed videos that are most popular with young viewers feature higher rates of tobacco content than programs shown on traditional television.

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