IMAT 2012 Q3 [Conclusion | Nicotine]

Nicotine chewing gum is already available in chemists. Nicotine is an addictive drug, but by itself it causes little, if any, harm. Unlike other addictive substances it does not reduce the brain’s performance, make people lazy, anti­social, or have more accidents. But until recently nicotine has been taken only in the form of tobacco, which also contains cancer­causing chemicals and deadly gases that kill one third of the people who smoke it. The chewing gum does not contain these chemicals, and is not dangerous in any other way.

Which one of the following is a conclusion which can be drawn from the above passage?

A. Nicotine chewing gum should be banned as it is addictive.

B. Nicotine chewing gum is a relatively safe alternative to tobacco for those addicted to nicotine.

C. Tobacco smokers can get rid of their addiction by chewing nicotine gum.

D. Nicotine chewing gum will make nicotine addiction more common by removing some of its risks.

E. Tobacco companies should put money into the manufacture and marketing of nicotine chewing gum.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:

  1. Read the Question (Every question)
  2. Go through the text and underline evidence
  3. Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  1. Using the underlined evidence and examples, prove each conclusion. Ask yourself “is this another piece of evidence? Or is this proved and strengthened by what’s in the text?”
  2. Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

After skimming the text, we can see that the main ideas are around nicotine addiction and how it can be taken in a less harmful way than smoking. Now let’s dive into the answers:

A. The text here is not denying that nicotine is addictive and it does not say that it should be banned. If anything there is a slight promotion of nicotine because it says that even though it is addictive, it does not reduce performance, make you lazy, antisocial, or have more accidents. Because the author does not argue for its ban or even talk negatively about it, we cannot consider this to be the conclusion. Therefore A is incorrect.

B. The passage explains the effects of nicotine alone in the second sentence. The focus, however, should be on the second last, and last sentence. The second last sentence tells us that nicotine in the form of tobacco can cause cancer and death, while the last sentence tells us that chewing gum does not have these effects and is not dangerous in any other way. It would thus follow that if you were addicted to nicotine, you are safer chewing it in gum rather than taking tobacco. Therefore B is correct.

C. This is not a valid conclusion because nicotine itself is the addictive component in tobacco. Although chewing it in the gum may be safer, it will not cure your addiction because there is still nicotine in the gum. Therefore C is incorrect.

D. Although this may seem logical, we cannot conclude this from the passage. Chewing gum does not remove the risks of nicotine itself because there is still the addictive nature of tobacco, but it removes the risks of smoking it with tobacco. In addition, we do not know if people who are already addicted to nicotine (or will become addicted) will want to switch to chewing gum or whether they won’t care and prefer to still smoke. Therefore D cannot be the correct answer.

E. This is not a valid conclusion because it is not the focus of the author and there are some assumptions that need to be made. Maybe the tobacco companies don’t care about the health of their customers, and it could be that tobacco makes more in sales than the gum. There are too many things you would have to assume to make this the conclusion. Therefore E is not the answer.