"Gears Of War 5" won’t be glorifying cigarettes and smoking, one of the game’s key developers said.

Smoking has always been portrayed in TV, movies and video games as something “cool.” One of the biggest video game titles showing all sorts of “cool” guys shooting down enemies and chainsawing their way to victory, however, won’t show any references to smoking at all.

In a statement to Variety, Rod Fergusson, head of game studio The Coalition, said “Gears 5” (the official name for “Gears Of War 5”) will “avoid highlighting or glorifying smoking.” The studio head this also applies to all titles and entries “throughout the Gears of War Universe moving forward.”

The announcement came after a nonprofit anti-smoking group called Truth Initiative reached out to Turner Broadcasting System, promoter of the ELeague, as Turner owns broadcast rights to “Gears 5.” Truth Initiative is working with The Coalition to eliminate the habit from the game.

Valid reasons

Many netizens and gamers alike reacted negatively to Fergusson’s announcement and said the game studio had double standards as it kept the violence while stamping out the nicotine-filled health hazard. In his defense, the studio head gave a few explanations to justify the stance he took for the game.

Fergusson said he didn’t include smoking in the game as he didn’t want “Gears 5” to encourage the “continued normalization of smoking.”

Turner VP for Sports Sales, Seth Ladetsky, said The Coalition’s decision, which took months of thinking, is backed by statistics. Ladetsky said that research has found a correlation between exposure to smoking and tobacco depictions in entertainment and a higher incidence of smoking among younger people.

Some might say that since this is the case, “Gears 5” should do away with chainsaws, then. Fergusson simply said “chainsawing monsters will never be normal.” Simply put, while younger players might be tempted to start smoking after playing a game that glorifies smoking, it’s very unlikely for players to go look for monsters to chainsaw after playing “Gears 5.”

Fergusson also had a deeper reason behind it: he lost his father when he was very young. In a tweet, Fergusson said his dad was a smoker who died from a heart attack when he was only 4 years old. From this, it’s clear that the game studio head doesn’t want anybody losing something or someone because of smoking, too.