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Black Rose Event


  • To raise awareness of the tobacco industry and how they try to seduce teens into becoming smokers and how many people die from using their products.

Target Audience:

  • Homeroom classes (limited only by the number of tobacco team members who can visit the classroom).
  • Can also do the presentation at lunch in the cafeteria to reach more students at once.  

Overview of Event: 

  • On Valentine’s Day deliver a black rose and “love” letter to a homeroom class. Members from the tobacco team will visit students in the class, present a black rose and letter to a random student and ask them to read it aloud to their peers.
  • Tobacco team members then start talking to the class about the number of people who die every day from smoking (44), and how the students are being targeted by the tobacco industry i.e. movies, advertising in American magazines, etc.
  • You can build suspense with posters that tease i.e. “Guess who wants you…find out on Valentine’s Day.”

Tools Required:

  • Plastic roses from dollar stores
  • Black spray paint
  • Black ribbons
  • Photocopies of the love letter to go with each rose
  • Speaking notes for presenters on some of the facts
  • Paper and supplies to make and put up teaser posters or banner(s)

The Process:

  1. Get the principal’s permission;
  2. Make sure teachers are aware and understand what is going on (write a memo and deliver to mailboxes of teachers whose classes you are going into);
  3. Buy the supplies, spray paint roses, attach to the letters with black ribbon purchased;
  4. Research facts about tobacco industry marketing, write and photocopy speaking notes;
  5. Write or adapt a sample “love letter”;
  6. If cafeteria event is planned, arrange for a microphone and group members who will speak;
  7. Put up posters or banner a few days before February 14th;
  8. Document results – how many students reached, impact, feedback.

Feedback from a school that held Black Rose event:
“Looking back on our event, there were a few matters we realized that we can improve on. One of the improvements is having more roses and letters. Since the event was such a hit with the students we would have liked to cover more classrooms. If we run an event like this again we will plan to bring many more roses and letters to each school.”


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