IMAT 2017 Q7 [Conclusion | Nicotine]

E-cigarettes, which provide nicotine without cigarette smoke, have been praised by health campaigners. Research has suggested that success rates for quitting smoking are higher with e-cigarettes than with other methods. However, rather than tackling their nicotine addiction, e-cigarette users have simply replaced one habit with another. It is true that cigarette smoke contains many hazardous compounds, and also that quitting smoking increases life expectancy and reduces the risk of many health problems. But nicotine also has its dangers: it has been associated with a range of conditions that we do not fully understand, and research has yet to establish the long-term effects of nicotine use outside of cigarette smoke.

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

A. Using nicotine patches is an ineffective way to give up smoking.

B. Not everyone is able to give up smoking without nicotine replacement.

C. Smoking traditional cigarettes still poses a major risk to health.

D. E-cigarettes are just as harmful as traditional cigarettes.

E. People should not assume e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes.

Summary of Steps to Solve Drawing Conclusion Type Questions:

  • Read the Question (Every question)
  • Go through the text and underline evidence
  • Read the answer and eliminate the outliers
    • (easiest to eliminate contradictory conclusions)
  • 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?”
  • Remember to ignore bias and disregard answers that may be true in the real world, but are not supported in the text.

The author brings forward a topic in which there is thought to be a positive result. Then in the second and third sentences, the author refutes this initial conclusion others had made on the topic. This is important to realize because it allows us to form a simple conclusion: E-cigarettes are not as good of a replacement as originally thought. Why? Because they come with their own set of dangers. With this in mind, let’s look at the answers.

A. Using nicotine patches is an ineffective way to give up smoking.

First of all, this is not really relevant because the main focus is about how mainly E-cigarettes are used as a replacement and how this is not ideal. There is talk about nicotine in general, and it says that it comes with its own dangers that are in nicotine itself and not just smoking. Therefore A is incorrect because it is not touching on the key topics but rather a by-product of the discussion (another smoking replacement tool).

B. Not everyone is able to give up smoking without nicotine replacement.

This is not a conclusion from the text, the author does not argue for or against this (does not even mention it). The author is trying to prove that nicotine replacement is not as great as you think. The author does not provide a solution to this (e.g. alternative methods to quit smoking without nicotine replacement). Therefore B is incorrect as it not mentionned by the author,a nd the lack of solution shows that it may be the best way but still flawed.

C. Smoking traditional cigarettes still poses a major risk to health.

This is a distractor answer that is more of a fact than conclusion. It is trying to draw you in with background knowledge. Therefore C is incorrect as it lacks specificity and is not related to the dangers of quitting smoking.

D. E-cigarettes are just as harmful as traditional cigarettes.

The author is not comparing the two ways of smoking, instead they are just informing us that it is not a perfect substitute because there is still some harm (an unspecified amount of harm). Therefore D is incorrect.

E. People should not assume e-cigarettes are a safe alternative to traditional cigarettes.

This is the best conclusion that can be drawn out of the text. The author is refuting the argument that e-cigarettes are beneficial because they can help you quit. The author wants to show the audience that, although it may help you quit, you are replacing one bad habit with another (habit of unspecified magnitude, could be better or just as bad). Therefore E is correct.