The message is loud and clear in Wairarapa – smoking and sport do not mix.

Regional Public Health and the Cancer Society have teamed up in the sponsorship of smoke free hoodies for the Wairarapa Bush Under 13 and Under 12 teams.

Wairarapa’s new smoke free ambassadors are wearing their hoodies with pride.

They are all honoured to represent their region in rugby while actively supporting the vision of smoke free 2025, according to Cancer Society Wairarapa health promoter Jacqui Ewington.

“Positive role modelling helps encourage others to lead a smoke free lifestyle, actively promoting smoke free within their home, school and sporting communities,” she said.

“The New Zealand youth smoking rate dropped from 14 per cent to 6 per cent in the past five years and we want to keep this trend going.”

Smoking is not permitted at any playground or sportsground in Wairarapa, bringing the message to the public to leave their tobacco at home and “keep our side lines smoke free”.

Help is available at Whaiora Stop Smoking Services – it is all free and is for anyone in Wairarapa.

Call 0800 494 246 or visit their new premises at 394 Queen St.