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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 or call (800) 556-6222.

Martha Maurer, News Editor

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