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Arizona program to help teen smokers quit

PHOENIX -- A new Arizona program is focusing on helping teens quit smoking.

The program is called "The Cignal" and it's the first ever "quit while you can" program that has been rolled out in Arizona.

"The Cignal has the potential to forever change young lives," Arizona Smokers' Helpline and THE CIGNAL director Stephen Michael said. "It can help reverse the trend among those who graduate from casual smokers to permanent smokers."

It's believed that about 17 percent of Arizona kids use tobacco products and at least half have no intentions of quitting. Also, about 90 percent of adult smokers said they were already addicted by the time they hit 18.

Most young smokers do not view themselves as daily smokers, especially if they don't take a drag everyday.

"When we counsel young adults we stress that quitting will take time and they have the ability to achieve their goal," Michael said. "We may encourage them to abandon social circles that sustain their tobacco use, and we may also encourage them to enlist friends and, if possible, family who support their desire quit. The Cignal maximizes existing resources and is developing best practices to help adolescent and young adult smokers in Arizona."

For more information, go to TheCIGnal.com or call (800) 556-6222.

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About the Author


Martha is the traffic controller in the KTAR newsroom. Her full time role is that of Assignment and Breaking News Editor of KTAR News. She oversees daily Breaking News planning and over-the air execution, and puts together the elements that make it happen. She gathers and distributes daily news assignments to reporters and editors. She also reports on a daily basis, anchors news afternoons 1-2p and fills in as anchor occasionally during other time slots. She began working at KTAR in the winter of 2012 as Desk Editor and was promoted to oversee Assignments and Breaking News in 2014. During that time, she received two awards as a journalist. The first was the 2013 APTRA Awards, where she took home 2nd place for Best Serious Future in the "Recycled Orchestra." The second was a 2014 Edward R. Murrow Award for her collaboration in KTAR's Voice for a Better Arizona Series: Immigration - seeking solutions. In her piece, Martha profiled two Arizona sisters looking for the DREAM. Martha was born in Mazatlan, Mexico. She moved to Arizona in 1996 with her parents and younger sister and has lived here since. She attended Barry Goldwater High School in Phoenix and graduated from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications at Arizona State University in Tempe. Prior to working at KTAR news she worked in news and production at Univision Arizona in Phoenix. She also supervised the marketing, catering and public relations department at Hotel Araiza, 5-star hotel in Mexicali, Mexico. She has also been a personal trainer and aerobics instructor. When she isn't in the newsroom or behind the microphone Martha is an avid gym-goer and marathoner. She trains for two races a year and enjoys taking group exercise classes, such as kickboxing, indoor cycling and weight lifting. Martha is married and lives in Surprise, AZ with 2 dogs, Tasha and Elsa, and a cat, Sammy.

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