The Irish Cancer Society is calling for the introduction of warnings before TV shows and films that feature characters smoking.
It comes as a new study warned that 92% of TV shows in the 2016-17 season included characters smoking – up from 79% the previous year.
The Truth Initiative study warns that smoking on the small screen has “gone from common to nearly unavoidable” – and said the rise of streaming services has accelerated the trend.
It found that Netflix programmes shows “much more” tobacco use than broadcast or cable TV channels – with the hugely popular Stranger Things the worst offender.
Every single episode of the shows first two seasons featured at least one scene with a character smoking.
The second worst show on Netflix was Orange is the New Black with 69% of the episodes in its latest season featuring smoking followed by House of Cards in third with 62%.
The Walking Dead showed the most smoking on broadcast and cable TV.
Irish Cancer Society CEO Donal Buggy said it is time to introduce warnings before any shows that feature smoking.
"Parents can then make the choice as to whether their children should be allowed to watch the show,” he said.
"Even iconic shows like the Simpsons had significant smoking through it and that is a show that is targeted at children and young adults who are impressionable."
He said tobacco companies are now lobbying studios, due to the increased regulations on advertising.
"There is no doubt about it that tobacco companies will look for any opportunity to get their product placed - to have their product associated with positive attributes," he said.
"There is no doubt that that happens in the TV and movie industry and it is something that we would like to see significantly reduced if not ended."
The Truth Initiative said it focused on Netflix because it came out as the most popular streaming service among a separate survey of 750 young people.
It said other services including Amazon Prime and Hulu have also been found to portray a lot of smoking.
In a statement Netflix said it promises to cut back on the amount of smoking it shows going forward.
The researchers behind the study said around 28 million people were exposed to tobacco trough television and streaming in the US alone during the 2016-17 season.
It notes that the US Surgeon general that people exposed to higher levels of tobacco products in movies are twice as likely to smoke compared to those with less exposure.
It said an analysis of peer-reviewed studies estimated that exposure to tobacco encouraged 37% of young smokers to begin their habit.