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# QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are

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QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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05 Feb 2018, 12:03
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45% (medium)

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66% (01:09) correct 34% (01:20) wrong based on 293 sessions

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Verbal Question of The Day: Day 219: Critical Reasoning

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The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are that it will remain so. In the United States this year, the total amount of tobacco sold by tobacco-farmers has increased, even though the number of adults who smoke has decreased.

Each of the following, if true, could explain the simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke EXCEPT:

(A) During this year, the number of women who have begun to smoke is greater than the number of men who have quit smoking.

(B) The number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke this year is greater than the number of adults who have quit smoking during the same period.

(C) During this year, the number of nonsmokers who have begun to use chewing tobacco or snuff is greater than the number of people who have quit smoking.

(D) The people who have continued to smoke consume more tobacco per person than they did in the past.

(E) More of the cigarettes made in the United States this year were exported to other countries than was the case last year.

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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2018, 04:05
1
For any discrepancy/paradox CR, a good first step is to make sure you clearly understand what the discrepancy is. In this case, the discrepancy itself is fairly straightforward: "In the US, the total amount of tobacco sold by tobacco-farmers has increased, even though the number of adults who smoke has decreased."

Huh... if the number of smokers has gone down, wouldn't that decrease total tobacco sales? And if sales are down, wouldn't total profits also decrease? Instead, tobacco sales have increased, and projections indicate the tobacco industry will remain profitable.

As we analyze the answer choices, we need to eliminate anything that COULD explain this apparent discrepancy. Make sure you pay close attention to the word "could" in the question stem. We can eliminate an answer choice even if it might not necessarily explain the discrepancy. As long as it could POSSIBLY explain a simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke, we can cross it off:

Quote:
A. During this year, the number of women who have begun to smoke is greater than the number of men who have quit smoking

Even if (A) is true, the TOTAL NUMBER of adults who smoke has decreased. So there must be something else that makes up for this statistic and produces a net decrease in adult smokers. For example, perhaps the number of women who have quit far exceeds the number of men who have begun to smoke.

How the numbers are broken down among different groups of adults (i.e. by gender, age group, ethnicity, etc.), makes no difference. Regardless of the details, the bottom line is that there has been a NET DECREASE in the number of adults who smoke. Therefore, we would still expect sales and profits to decrease. (A) could not explain a simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke, so keep this one.

Quote:
B. The number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke this year is greater than the number of adults who have quit smoking during the same period

Again, we know that we have a net decrease in the number of adults who smoke. But what about smokers who are NOT adults (i.e. teen-age children)? If the number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke is GREATER than the number of adults who have quit smoking, then it is POSSIBLE that the net increase in teen smokers exceeds the net decrease in adult smokers. That would indeed explain the discrepancy.

Remember, we don't need to PROVE that this explains the discrepancy. We don't know how many teens quit smoking or how many adults started smoking. As a result, we cannot actually determine whether the net increase in teen smoking exceeds the net decrease in adult smoking. Regardless, this is a possible explanation, so cross of (B).

Quote:
C. During this year, the number of nonsmokers who have begun to use chewing tobacco or snuff is greater than the number of people who have quit smoking

A net decrease in adult smoking would contribute to a decrease in tobacco sales. But smoking is only one form of tobacco use. If the number of nonsmokers who use chewing tobacco increases, that would contribute to an INCREASE in tobacco sales. That increase COULD exceed the decrease caused by a reduction in adult smoking, so (C) COULD explain the discrepancy. Since this is a possible explanation, eliminate (C).

Quote:
D. The people who have continued to smoke consume more tobacco per person than they did in the past

We know that the NUMBER of adult smokers has decreased, but does that necessarily mean that total tobacco use has decreased? For example, what if those who did not quit started to consume a much greater quantity of tobacco themselves? Sure, tobacco sales are negatively impacted as people quit, but an increase in consumption per person among non-quitters would positively affect sales.

If that positive effect exceeds the reduction in sales caused by the decrease in adult smokers, then we would have a net increase in sales despite a net decrease in adult smokers. Choice (D) could explain the discrepancy, so eliminate (D).

Quote:
E. More of the cigarettes made in the United States this year were exported to other countries than was the case last year.

Perhaps smoking in the US has declined, which would reduce local demand for cigarettes. But perhaps cigarette companies have started selling more cigarettes overseas. If the increase in overseas sales exceeds the loss in local sales, then there would be a net increase in tobacco sales. This would explain how the number of adult smokers in the US could decrease while total tobacco sales increases. (E) is a possible explanation, so eliminate (E).

Choice (A) is the only one that could not explain the discrepancy, so (A) is the best answer.
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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2018, 05:09
A. More women than men smoking does not resolve the problem

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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2018, 05:58
souvik101990 wrote:

Verbal Question of The Day: Day 219: Critical Reasoning

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The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are that it will remain so. In the United States this year, the total amount of tobacco sold by tobacco-farmers has increased, even though the number of adults who smoke has decreased.

Each of the following, if true, could explain the simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke EXCEPT:

A. During this year, the number of women who have begun to smoke is greater than the number of men who have quit smoking

B. The number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke this year is greater than the number of adults who have quit smoking during the same period

C. During this year, the number of nonsmokers who have begun to use chewing tobacco or snuff is greater than the number of people who have quit smoking

D. The people who have continued to smoke consume more tobacco per person than they did in the past

E. More of the cigarettes made in the United States this year were exported to other countries than was the case last year.

Every question of the day will be followed by an expert reply by GMATNinja in 12-15 hours. Stay tuned! Post your answers and explanations to earn kudos.

Option A does't account for a good reason for the increase in tobacco sales and for the corresponding decrease in tobacco consumption by ADULTS

Men or women is not an issue.

If both are adults, it means that smoking by adults has increased
if women are adults, it means the same as above

so, as can be seen, the results are not consistent, and of course do not allow for a conclusive answer as to why tobacco sales have increased, nonetheless, a decrease in tobacco consumption by ADULTS

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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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09 Feb 2018, 10:45
The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are that it will remain so. In the United States this year, the total amount of tobacco sold by tobacco-farmers has increased, even though the number of adults who smoke has decreased.

Each of the following, if true, could explain the simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke EXCEPT:

A. During this year, the number of women who have begun to smoke is greater than the number of men who have quit smoking -As per this option, number of adults has increased. Correct.

B. The number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke this year is greater than the number of adults who have quit smoking during the same period -This explains the paradox because if the # of adults has decreased then at the same time # of children consuming tobacco has increased

C. During this year, the number of nonsmokers who have begun to use chewing tobacco or snuff is greater than the number of people who have quit smoking -This explains the paradox as it states that the non smokers who have started using tobacco have outnumbered the adults who have stopped using tobacco

D. The people who have continued to smoke consume more tobacco per person than they did in the past -This explains the paradox for obvious reasons

E. More of the cigarettes made in the United States this year were exported to other countries than was the case last year. -This explains the paradox as even when the # of adults has decreased the sales have not been impacted
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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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11 Feb 2018, 11:56
a good question, "the number of adults who smoke has decreased." is the key word. => question stem and other details are just distractors.
This question is a hybrid of "strengthen and explanation.
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Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are  [#permalink]

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14 Feb 2018, 15:11
Good question. Be very specific on the wording here especially "tobacco" and "adults"

The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are that it will remain so. In the United States this year, the total amount of tobacco sold by tobacco-farmers has increased, even though the number of adults who smoke has decreased.

Each of the following, if true, could explain the simultaneous increase in tobacco sales and decrease in the number of adults who smoke EXCEPT:
So what doesnt explain increase in tobacco sales and decrease in number of adults who smoke?

A. During this year, the number of women who have begun to smoke is greater than the number of men who have quit smoking
Doesnt help explain decrease in # of adults because we dont know the number of females vs. males. Similarly using the same logic, doesnt help explain increase in tobacco sales

B. The number of teen-age children who have begun to smoke this year is greater than the number of adults who have quit smoking during the same period
Helps explain the decrease in number of adults and helps explain increase in tobacco sales too

C. During this year, the number of nonsmokers who have begun to use chewing tobacco or snuff is greater than the number of people who have quit smoking
Trick Q, pay attention to chewing tobacco and snuff, these are tobacco products.
Re: QOTD: The tobacco industry is still profitable and projections are &nbs [#permalink] 14 Feb 2018, 15:11
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