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# One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking

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Director
Joined: 16 Jul 2009
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One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking  [#permalink]

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23 Jul 2010, 09:31
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85% (hard)

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48% (02:00) correct 52% (02:08) wrong based on 213 sessions

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One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking advertising campaign in local newspapers which it financed by imposing a tax on cigarettes of 20 cents per pack. One year later the number of people in the locality who smoke cigarettes had declined by 3 percent. Clearly, what was said in the advertisements had an effect, although a small one, on the number of people in the locality who smoke cigarettes.
Which one of the following, if true, most helps to strengthen argument?
(A) Residents of the locality have not increased their use of other tobacco products such as snuff and chewing tobacco since the campaign went into effect.
(B) A substantial number of cigarette smokers in the locality who did not quit smoking during the campaign now smoke less than they did before it began.
(C) Admissions to the local hospital for chronic respiratory ailments were down by 15 percent one year after the campaign began.
(D) Merchants in the locality responded to the local tax by reducing the price at which they sold cigarettes by 20 cents per pack.
(E) Smokers in the locality had incomes that on average were 25 percent lower than those of nonsmokers.

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23 Jul 2010, 09:54
noboru,
can u pls explain how it was choice D. I thought option D would have weakened the argument. Reducing the price by 20 cents would have increased smoking. Isn't it?
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23 Jul 2010, 10:11
2
one key assumption in the argument would be that people may have quit smoking NOT because of the message but because of incr in price. D provides additonal evidence that in fact the price had not increased at all - which corroborates the conclusion that it was the message that cause ppl to reduce smoking.
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23 Jul 2010, 10:45
Somehow ... I was sure of B ...but you know "its different"
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23 Jul 2010, 11:07
Premises :
1. local government initiated an antismoking campaign
2. Imposed tax on cigarettes of 20 cents per pack
3. One year later the number of smokers in the locality declined
4. Antismoking campaign did work on the locality (This is not a premise)

Assumption : Efficacy of the campaign was NOT dependent on tax increase.

If the campaign reduced the cigarette smokers then it was not the tax that deterred the smokers from smoking since the merchants absorbed the tax increase. The campaign did 100%. D just says that. D is correct!

Another way to look at the argument is --- X leads to Y. Anti smoking campaign (X) caused Y (decline in smokers)
Then Z(Tax increase) did not cause Y. Alternate explanation destroys the causal argument.

In Causal Argument X -> Y
Y -> X is prohibited
Z -> Y is prohibited

sridhar wrote:
can u pls explain how it was choice D. I thought option D would have weakened the argument. Reducing the price by 20 cents would have increased smoking. Isn't it?
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23 Jul 2010, 13:53
gauravnagpal wrote:
Somehow ... I was sure of B ...but you know "its different"

I picked B at first too, but now see why it can't be B. Its because the paragraph says the number of people who smoke decreased by 3%, it says nothing about the amount that they smoked. So even if every single smoker smokes less the actual number of smokers does not decrease unless they quit all together.
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23 Jul 2010, 20:37
I had picked B but now I agree with nusmavrik's explanation.
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28 Jul 2010, 00:53
D for me too ................

Only problem with B is it directly counters the evidence........substantial to only 3 % (mearly).....
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28 Jul 2010, 07:23
I agree that D is correct even though I picked B.

It is easy to distract the focus from advertisement to tax imposing action. After all, the arguement focus on the effect of advertisement, not tax. Option D clearly shows that the tax does not affect the anti-smoking campaign to prove that advertisement is helpful.
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28 Jul 2010, 14:08
good question. Fell for the wrong one....

Agree with D.
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06 Aug 2010, 11:49
Yeah B is wrong since it does not affect the number of smokers. It affects the amount of smoking which is really NOT the efficacy. The efficacy of the campaign lies in the total number of non smokers -
Premise : One year later the number of people in the locality who smoke cigarettes had declined by 3 percent. ----> "the number" is the keyword.
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06 Aug 2010, 16:08
It is a little stricky! I thought it s B at first
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08 Aug 2010, 08:06
v ery good Q noboru.....it was hard to pick D at first ...but now i can see how D is correct.....

this was like a typical question where gmat tries to puzzle u to pick wrong answer
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23 Mar 2011, 13:02
I think (D) is still the better answer, although I can see why (B) might be tempting at first.

The gap in the original arguement is that smoking could have been reduced because of the ad campaign or it could have been because of the 20cent tax. (D) effectively nullifies the impact the tax would have had on reducing the percentage of smokers .

Choice (B) still leaves the gap in the arguement intact. In fact, it could even be a direct result of the tax. Therefore Current smokers might have cut back on smoking because the 20cent tax made it too costly OR because of the ad campaign.

I think this is a good, tough question, namely because of the well crafted 'trap' answer
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23 Mar 2011, 22:14
Answer is D as it eliminates an alternate cause for effect, i.e., increase in price as deterrent, hence the puported cause - advertisement- is the real cause.

B says "smoke less", but not that they've quit, and also "A substantial number" is a vague sounding phrase in this context. We don't know how it correlates with 3% !
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26 Mar 2011, 14:28
+1 D

The tax didn't make more expensive the cigarretes because the stores reduced the prices.
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Re: One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking  [#permalink]

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10 Sep 2017, 00:41
D - clearly despite the price reduction (or the price would have remained the same), cigarette buying didn't increase, but the advertisements created reduced the smoking
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Re: One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking  [#permalink]

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10 Apr 2019, 19:30
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Re: One year ago a local government initiated an antismoking   [#permalink] 10 Apr 2019, 19:30
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