Health risks of secondhand smoke

Essay by EssaySwap ContributorUniversity, Bachelor's February 2008

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"The Health Risks of Secondhand Smoke Are Exaggerated," according to an article written by W. Kip Viscusi, which is published in 1997 in Smoking, Opposing Viewpoints. The article, is not effective. Not only are the sources of the evidence not clearly identified, but also Viscusi uses logical fallacies, and the organization is confusing.

The first reason why Viscusi's article is not effective is that the sources of the evidence Viscusi uses are not clearly identified. To begin with Viscusi talks about how the percentages of non-smokers in society have risen, then he says to consider the following "Gallup Poll results", which are that the 16% believed that smoking in public places should be banned. But Viscusi fails to tell the reader what the "Gallup poll" is, when it was taken and who produced it. Equally important, in the seventh paragraph Viscusi states that "cancer researchers" generally note. Again he fails to let the reader know the credentials of the cancer researchers.

Another example of poor credentials is when Viscusi states some percentages in "a 1991 survey of company smoking policies". He again fails to let the reader know the credentials of the survey.

Another explanation as to why Viscusi's article is not successful is because the organization is confusing. The thesis Viscusi is trying to prove is that the health risks of secondhand smoke are exaggerated. He fails to support his thesis because his main points in his story are all scattered and have no organization. Also, Viscusi's main point is that risks are exaggerated, but he fails to bring out the "risks" until after the he writes about insignificant topics that have nothing to do with the point he is trying to make. In addition to not supporting his thesis and scattering the main points, Viscusi also...