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#5 - Cigarette companies claim that manufacturing both

Jerrymakehabit
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Can someone please help me with this Paradox question?

For choice A "Blood cannot absorb more nicotine per day than found in the smoke ...", I understand how it explains the second idea "However, a recent study has shown that the levels ...". But it does not explain the first idea that "Cigarette companies claim that ...". If we accept choice A, then why do the companies still manufacture both low and high nicotine cigarettes? The LR Bible says "The correct answer must show how both sides coexist" on P405.

Thanks
Jerry
Jay Donnell
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Hi Jerry!

This is a surprisingly tricky question for a #5, so I'm going to help clear the smoke away, pardon the extremely obvious pun :roll:

The two main elements of the paradox are:

1) Cigarette companies claim that manufacturing both low-and high nicotine cigarettes allows smokers to choose how much nicotine they want

2) Regardless of what level (high or low) of nicotine a smoker chooses, the nicotine levels in the blood of pack-a-day smokers are identical.


Like in any Resolve The Paradox questions, these seem inconsistent, but the correct answer provides a third fact that allows for a reconciliation to the quandary presented in the stimulus.

The reason that A works is that it provides the fact that any nicotine above what is contained in the lowest nicotine cigarettes available is past the saturation point, and can not be absorbed into the bloodstream in larger amounts. That implies that even though the companies offer both high and low nicotine levels, it really doesn't matter for the smoker in regards to the absorbed nicotine levels in the blood.

However, the excess nicotine above that minimum may still have a large effect in other areas, such as the nicotine 'hit' received by smoking a cigarette of a higher level nicotine. The nicotine levels may affect other areas as well including taste, amount of time 'needed' between cigarettes for an addicted smoker, effect on pulmonary strength, price of the cigarettes, etc.

So even though I can see how the answer of A flirts with cancelling out the truth of the first statement, I believe that it helps resolve the paradox involving the levels of absorbed nicotine in the blood while maintaining the legitimacy of the claim that smokers can still choose a cigarette based off of their desired levels of nicotine, which may have effects other than levels of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream.

I hope that helps clear it up!
Jerrymakehabit
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Jay Donnell wrote:Hi Jerry!

This is a surprisingly tricky question for a #5, so I'm going to help clear the smoke away, pardon the extremely obvious pun :roll:

The two main elements of the paradox are:

1) Cigarette companies claim that manufacturing both low-and high nicotine cigarettes allows smokers to choose how much nicotine they want

2) Regardless of what level (high or low) of nicotine a smoker chooses, the nicotine levels in the blood of pack-a-day smokers are identical.


Like in any Resolve The Paradox questions, these seem inconsistent, but the correct answer provides a third fact that allows for a reconciliation to the quandary presented in the stimulus.

The reason that A works is that it provides the fact that any nicotine above what is contained in the lowest nicotine cigarettes available is past the saturation point, and can not be absorbed into the bloodstream in larger amounts. That implies that even though the companies offer both high and low nicotine levels, it really doesn't matter for the smoker in regards to the absorbed nicotine levels in the blood.

However, the excess nicotine above that minimum may still have a large effect in other areas, such as the nicotine 'hit' received by smoking a cigarette of a higher level nicotine. The nicotine levels may affect other areas as well including taste, amount of time 'needed' between cigarettes for an addicted smoker, effect on pulmonary strength, price of the cigarettes, etc.

So even though I can see how the answer of A flirts with cancelling out the truth of the first statement, I believe that it helps resolve the paradox involving the levels of absorbed nicotine in the blood while maintaining the legitimacy of the claim that smokers can still choose a cigarette based off of their desired levels of nicotine, which may have effects other than levels of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream.

I hope that helps clear it up!



Hi Jay,

Your explanation is impressive! I like the way you used "clear smoke away", "Flirt with" etc.
I am a bit worried about the assumptions you made below which I quoted. I totally understand there are other areas which could be impacted by excess nicotine above minimum. But are we allowed to make these assumptions since the stimuli does not mention any of the other effects at all? As a rule of thumb, in what kind of situations or questions we are allowed to make assumptions or list other possibilities as the way you did below?

"However, the excess nicotine above that minimum may still have a large effect in other areas, such as the nicotine 'hit' received by smoking a cigarette of a higher level nicotine. The nicotine levels may affect other areas as well including taste, amount of time 'needed' between cigarettes for an addicted smoker, effect on pulmonary strength, price of the cigarettes, etc. "

Thanks!
Jerry
Jay Donnell
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Hi Jerry!

I'm so glad you responded, that's an excellent question!

I think the paradox really boils down to the issue of how much nicotine is in each cigarette and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream in the average pack-a-day smoker. Though after even what nicotine is contained in the lowest offered nicotine, any heavier levels are still equal in regards to the amount absorbed in the blood, that doesn't rule out the idea that additional nicotine may have any number of other effects (the anti-smoker in me pains to use the word 'advantages' here...).

There is also the issue that there may very well be more sporadic smokers who have only a few puffs a day, and so even though the heavier smokers end up with equivalent blood absorption, those two-smokes-a-day people might still have the option of choosing how much bang for the butt :ras: they want out of each cigarette, which is consistent with both sides of the paradox.

I think you are totally in line to question the assumptions I threw out, but it's important to realize that each were thrown out with the lowest possible logical force by using words like may and could. Just about anything could happen with the low level of evidence needed to support such claims. Heck, it's possible that one day it will snow in the Sahara, and even the Cleveland Browns might win the Super Bowl next year. You have to admit that Baker Mayfield plays with an obscene amount of swagger!

Point it, I brought up things that may happen to illustrate what I found to be the big equivocation behind the paradox:

Is there a difference of any kind between the amount of nicotine offered in a cigarette and the amount of that nicotine that's absorbed into the bloodstream? Can we agree that those are not exactly the same measurements?

To be fair, or if you watch the show Letterkenny, "to be faaaaaaaaair," this is a particularly nasty question for a number 5. Resolve the Paradox questions are as a concept awfully tricky as well, and their success relies on us parsing through the stimulus to find the two seemingly inconsistent facts.

Here, it was:

1) The amount of nicotine per cigarette is variable to the consumer
2) The amount of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream is the same for both heavy and light levels

The answer helps to account for that seeming discrepancy by showing that the nicotine into the bloodstream threshold is low, but that can still allow for the otherwise present nicotine levels, and any other possible effects that may have, to vary.

You're dead on in being wary of making assumptions, but hopefully that (windy) discussion about how logical force plays a role in safeguarding them can be of use to you in the future!

Now where did I put my Juul.....
Jerrymakehabit
LSAT Leader
 
Posts: 52
Joined: Mon Jan 28, 2019 11:54 pm
Points: 52

Jay Donnell wrote:Hi Jerry!

I'm so glad you responded, that's an excellent question!

I think the paradox really boils down to the issue of how much nicotine is in each cigarette and how much is absorbed into the bloodstream in the average pack-a-day smoker. Though after even what nicotine is contained in the lowest offered nicotine, any heavier levels are still equal in regards to the amount absorbed in the blood, that doesn't rule out the idea that additional nicotine may have any number of other effects (the anti-smoker in me pains to use the word 'advantages' here...).

There is also the issue that there may very well be more sporadic smokers who have only a few puffs a day, and so even though the heavier smokers end up with equivalent blood absorption, those two-smokes-a-day people might still have the option of choosing how much bang for the butt :ras: they want out of each cigarette, which is consistent with both sides of the paradox.

I think you are totally in line to question the assumptions I threw out, but it's important to realize that each were thrown out with the lowest possible logical force by using words like may and could. Just about anything could happen with the low level of evidence needed to support such claims. Heck, it's possible that one day it will snow in the Sahara, and even the Cleveland Browns might win the Super Bowl next year. You have to admit that Baker Mayfield plays with an obscene amount of swagger!

Point it, I brought up things that may happen to illustrate what I found to be the big equivocation behind the paradox:

Is there a difference of any kind between the amount of nicotine offered in a cigarette and the amount of that nicotine that's absorbed into the bloodstream? Can we agree that those are not exactly the same measurements?

To be fair, or if you watch the show Letterkenny, "to be faaaaaaaaair," this is a particularly nasty question for a number 5. Resolve the Paradox questions are as a concept awfully tricky as well, and their success relies on us parsing through the stimulus to find the two seemingly inconsistent facts.

Here, it was:

1) The amount of nicotine per cigarette is variable to the consumer
2) The amount of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream is the same for both heavy and light levels

The answer helps to account for that seeming discrepancy by showing that the nicotine into the bloodstream threshold is low, but that can still allow for the otherwise present nicotine levels, and any other possible effects that may have, to vary.

You're dead on in being wary of making assumptions, but hopefully that (windy) discussion about how logical force plays a role in safeguarding them can be of use to you in the future!

Now where did I put my Juul.....


Hi Jay,

After reading all of your explanations, what convinced me most is your analysis as shown below.

1) The amount of nicotine per cigarette is variable to the consumer.
2) The amount of nicotine absorbed into the bloodstream per pack is the same for both heavy and light levels.

"There is also the issue that there may very well be more sporadic smokers who have only a few puffs a day, and so even though the heavier smokers end up with equivalent blood absorption, those two-smokes-a-day people might still have the option of choosing how much bang for the butt :ras: they want out of each cigarette, which is consistent with both sides of the paradox. "

I hope I could have met a professor like you when I was in school. Thank you so much for the detailed analysis and humorous words. I feel like being poked by your words. After a long day's work as an engineer and being a non-native English speaker, reading your reply really made my day! And btw, I am beginning to watch the show Letterkenny.

Thank you!
Jerry