Peter Brimelow's Thank You for Smoking? Essay

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Peter Brimelow's “Thank You for Smoking…?”

Peter Brimelow’s “Thank You for Smoking…?” is a well-written argument with a lot of evidence to support his claim. Other than the last two paragraphs, Brimelow provides rational support for the positive side of smoking. His article discusses the benefits that smoking can have to peoples’ health. Such evidence as that of D.M Warbutton, a British researcher who said that smoking stimulates alertness, dexterity, and cognitive capacity (141). Citing a number of scientific journals, Brimlow has also found that smoking can reduce the risk of developing such diseases as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Endometrial cancer, Prostate cancer, Osteoarthritis and Colon cancer. Brimelow states that
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This statement is a strength in the argument because he uses qualifiers to avoid overstating his opinion. The qualifiers he uses are “might be” and “in some small ways”. Qualifiers are words or phrases used to limit and modify the overgeneralization of claims (McFadden 36).

Brimelow, then, states his counterclaim to show that he recognizes the bad effects of smoking. A counterclaim is an argument that refutes the claim. He does so by stating “The Surgeon General has indeed determined that smoking is dangerous to your health” (141). This shows that he recognizes the opposing view points which are important in all arguments. By doing this he strengthens his argument.

Brimelow uses evidence to support the counterclaim. Evidence can also be called grounds, facts, and logic used to support claims (McFadden 22). This evidence is that “annual smoking-related deaths are commonly said to be over 400,000 (although critics say the number is inflated)” (141). Although he is stating evidence that supports the counterclaim, Brimelow still adds his examples of diseases which support his own argument. He does this successfully because he is recognizing the opposing view point but is still trying to make his point clear.

Brimelow’s rebuttal to the counterclaim is that driving automobiles is also dangerous to our health. This argument refutes the counterclaim. He used statistics to support his rebuttal by saying there are over

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