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GMAT Question of the Day – 21/12/2020


In several states, legislation has been proposed that would make smoking cigarettes illegal. Critics of these proposed laws note that, in the United States, people should be able to engage in any activity as long as that activity does no harm to others. Based on this, the critics conclude that smoking cigarettes should remain legal.

Each of the following, if true, weakens the argument above, EXCEPT:



The question directly asks for something that “weakens” the argument, making this a Weaken question. However, it is important to note the EXCEPT, which means four answers will weaken the argument. The correct answer will not – it will either strengthen the argument or have no effect.

In this argument, the critics of laws proposed to limit smoking conclude that smoking should remain legal because people should be able to engage in any activity as long as that activity does no harm to others.

The central assumption is that smoking qualifies as an activity that does no harm to others. Each of the wrong answer choices will provide some information that it does harm others; the correct answer choice will either strengthen the argument or be irrelevant.

(D) states that some smokers drink and drive. This is not, however, a negative effect on other people associated with smoking. Certainly there are some smokers who drink and drive, but there are non-smokers who do as well. This answer choice gives no reason to believe that smoking causes drinking and driving. Therefore, the simple correlation between some smokers and driving under the influence does not indicate that smoking itself is harming anyone. Thus, this does not weaken the argument, making it the correct answer.

(A) and (B) both point out the harm smoking can do to people around the smoker – either those who inhale the secondhand smoke or those who suffer after losing a source of financial support due to a smoking-shortened life.

(C) and (E) both show that harm is done to everyone paying for certain types of insurance based on the activities of smokers.

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