Arizona boasts country's largest teen smoking drop

June 11, 2012

The number of teen smokers in Arizona is dropping. In fact, Arizona has seen the largest drop of any state in the country. KJZZ’s Al Macias reports.

AL MACIAS: The rate of teen smokers is down 11 percent over the last two years, according to the Arizona Department of Health Services. That’s about 10,000 fewer young smokers. Wayne Tormala says DHS is effectively using social media to get the word out.

WAYNE TORMALA: We reach them where they are … which is online, Facebook we tweet, make use of social media. We use the message of addiction which we found is one thing -- they don’t want to be addicted, they don’t want to be controlled by something else.

MACIAS: Tormala says the cost of cigarettes is another factor that has helped reduce tobacco use among teens. He says a pack-a-day smoker can spend up to $3,000 a year, an amount he says is difficult for most teens to handle.

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