Zombie Walk

The Zombie Walk is a great way to show what the tobacco industry is doing to our health. These jokers are betting on kids’ lives and the result is sickness, death and disease. For this event, get together a group to dress up as zombies (think tattered clothes, makeup, scary signs and other props) and hold a march near your school, city hall, or other busy area. You can even have one of your group leaders dress up as the tobacco joker and have them lead the pack as the zombies chase them down for revenge! It’s an eye-catching event best done with a large group to grab attention from your community.

You'll Need

  • Poster board & markers for signs 
    • Sign Ideas focused on e-cigarettes 
      • 1 Juul Pod = 20 cigarettes worth of nicotine (or 1 Pod = 1 Pack) 
      • E-cigarettes = Epidemic 
      • A new generation hooked on nicotine 
      • 5 million addicted kids and teens 
      • Nicotine is brain poison 
      • Nicotine can cause permanent brain changes in teens 
      • Nicotine = Anxiety + Irritability 
      • Flavors hook kids (or Flavored vapes hook kids) 
      • Big Vape IS Big Tobacco 
      • Flavored Vapes: Threat Level HIGH 
    • Sign ideas focused on all tobacco 
      • Tobacco should not be cheap or sweet 
      • There is no safe level of secondhand smoke 
      • 480,000 U.S. deaths per year 
      • Enough is enough 
      • 5.6 million kids alive today will die from smoking 
  • Costume makeup—think gray and white face paint, some red shades for dramatic effect, purple or black around the eyes, etc. 
  • Old/dirty/tattered clothing (ask participants to supplement this) - ripped jeans, old tee shirts, and muted colors help with the zombie effect


Before the Activity: 

  • Identify a date and time, venue, and target audience for your Zombie Walk. Locations could include outside of stores that sell tobacco products (as in the example video below), outside of legislative offices, or in high-traffic areas in your community. 
  • Check limits on public protests by your city, county or state—get the permits that you need if rules are in place. 
  • Recruit as many participants as possible—a large group of zombies will make a bigger impact and attract media attention 
  • Facilitate costume making for participants. This can include ripping/dirtying of clothing, makeup tutorials, and more!
  • Solidify the key messages of your walk. Are you looking to change a specific policy or get the attention of a certain decision maker? Adjust your messaging and materials accordingly. 
  • Create protest signs and make sure that their wording aligns with your overall message and goal of the walk. 
  • Conduct outreach to local media outlets to let them know about your event—this could be anything from print newspapers, to local TV news stations. 
  • Identify a youth media spokesperson or two who fully understand the issue and messaging and are comfortable talking to the media. 
  • Practice your zombie walk! 

During the Activity: 

  • Before beginning the zombie walk, have a group huddle to make sure everyone understands the goals of the event and to answer any participant questions. 
  • Maintain a cohesive group message—remember what your main objective is. 
  • Take photos and post them to social media to broaden the online reach of your event. 
  • Have fun! 

After the Activity: 

  • Follow up with the decision-makers or stakeholders that you targeted with your event—include photos from the walk and firsthand stories from participants. 
  • Continue spreading the word about what your group did via social media, email, newsletters, and other communications methods used by your group.