Lincoln – Today a bipartisan coalition of 43 attorneys general, co-led by Nebraska Attorney General Doug Peterson and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra is urging the streaming industry to limit tobacco use in their video content. Due to the growing use of tobacco products amongst teens, the attorneys general are urging the streaming industry to take proactive steps to protect the lives of young viewers.
“Those on the front lines with Nebraska’s children in classrooms and schools express to me their ongoing concern of the rise of tobacco use by their students. Today’s pronouncement demonstrates strong and broad support by attorneys general in asking an industry that our youth not be targeted,” stated Attorney General Peterson.
Recommendations provided by the attorneys general include eliminating or excluding tobacco imagery in streamed content for young viewers, “recommending” or designating only tobacco-free content for youth and family audiences, improving parental controls, and mitigating the negative influence of imagery.
The letter is the latest action taken by state attorneys general to curb the use of tobacco and its marketing to youth through popular media. The 1998 Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement, which settled litigation brought against tobacco manufacturers by 46 states and six other U.S. jurisdictions, prohibits those manufacturers from targeting youth through advertising and promotions.
The letter concludes, “Video streaming companies have an opportunity to succeed in entertaining young people, while protecting them from the dangers of tobacco use. We hope this letter is the first communication in an ongoing discussion regarding the critical role streaming companies can play in the fight against the renormalization and glamorization of tobacco use.”
In sending today’s letter, Attorney General Peterson was joined by the attorneys general of California, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Florida, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Puerto Rico, Rhode Island, Tennessee, U.S. Virgin Islands, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and Wisconsin.