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# In the last decade, per capita consumption of cigarettes

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Manager
Joined: 03 Mar 2018
Posts: 203

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17 Jun 2018, 11:44
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71% (01:15) correct 29% (01:34) wrong based on 203 sessions

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In the last decade, per capita consumption of cigarettes decreased substantially in Barritonia. Over the same time period, the government of Barritonia started a campaign that widely publicized the long-term adverse effects of cigarette smoking. Therefore, the decline in cigarette smoking in Barritonia is attributable to the government's anti-smoking campaign.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

A) The government used television, radio, and social media in its anti-smoking campaign.
B) During the time period, there was not an increase in the price per pack of cigarettes.
C) Before the government's campaign, cigarette companies were mandated to alert consumers about the adverse effects of cigarettes.
D) On average, the citizens of Barritonia smoke 40% fewer cigarettes than they did 10 years ago.
E) It is commonly acknowledged that quitting smoking produces moderate side effects, such as headaches, lethargy, dizziness, and increased appetite.

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17 Jun 2018, 18:04
IMO b is correct.
B eliminate a possible cause of the decline in cigarette smoking. Hence strengthen the reasoning in the argument.

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Intern
Joined: 19 Aug 2018
Posts: 31

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20 Aug 2018, 20:01
itisSheldon wrote:
In the last decade, per capita consumption of cigarettes decreased substantially in Barritonia. Over the same time period, the government of Barritonia started a campaign that widely publicized the long-term adverse effects of cigarette smoking. Therefore, the decline in cigarette smoking in Barritonia is attributable to the government's anti-smoking campaign.
Which of the following, if true, most strengthens the argument?

A) The government used television, radio, and social media in its anti-smoking campaign.
B) During the time period, there was not an increase in the price per pack of cigarettes.
C) Before the government's campaign, cigarette companies were mandated to alert consumers about the adverse effects of cigarettes.
D) On average, the citizens of Barritonia smoke 40% fewer cigarettes than they did 10 years ago.
E) It is commonly acknowledged that quitting smoking produces moderate side effects, such as headaches, lethargy, dizziness, and increased appetite.

I chose B as the best out of the lot. Can option B really strengthen the stem? We are not quite aware if the people of Barritonia are spend thrifts, or if cigarettes are a giffen good in the country.

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Joined: 11 Mar 2014
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20 Aug 2018, 21:39
As it can be observed that the argument shows a causal pattern.

Let’s understand the causal pattern

Premise – A and B are correlated.

The conclusion is that A caused B

Assumptions - 1. There is no other cause present.

2. it’s not a coincidence.

Weakening – Point out other causes.

Give a counterexample where the cause is present but the effect doesn’t follow.

Suggest that it’s a coincidence.

Strengthening – 1. Rule out other possible causes.

2. Show that it is not a coincidence.

Now, as per the discussion, the right way to strengthen the argument will be to suggest that the decline in the smoking happened ONLY due to the anti-smoking drive launched by the government.

Now look at the options

A- How the government did campaigning is not in the scope of the argument.

B- Correct as this answer choice rules out other possible causes.

C- We are not interested as to what happened before the campaign

D- Out of scope

E- Out of scope
All the best!! Keep practicing.
Consistency is the key.
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Re: In the last decade, per capita consumption of cigarettes   [#permalink] 20 Aug 2018, 21:39