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What are the advantages and disadvantages of banning smoking in public places?

CIE Comments




A straight forward introduction that firmly sets a context primarily associated with health.

Factually correct scientific information provided with a good deal of sophisticated vocabulary. Also a use of phraseology that makes the information immediately understandable, without lapsing into slang.

Introduces clear scientific understanding coupled with clear explanation.

The last part of the health/science issues.

The argument against smoking is strengthened with the social implications, particularly for youth. At this point it would have been useful to include a definition of 'public places' to qualify the last sentence.

The economic considerations rightly identify the costs to the health budget. But it would have been a suitable point to include as a disadvantage that the Government would lose valuable revenue - tax, etc., and unemployment is unlikely.

Civil liberty is addressed. It could have been followed up with a consideration of the 'nanny state' perhaps. But the candidate weighs up the costs of such a civil liberty infringement and concludes that the rights of so few cannot be allowed to rule over the majority.

A weaker conclusion than the essay merits. Some minor points could have been brought in - the smells, litter and also the way of enforcing a ban. Equally some examples of countries banning smoking would have been pertinent.

Conclusion from the above comments


This is a well informed essay that is aided by concise scientific language and mature assessment of that information. The vocabulary beyond the scientific is also sophisticated.

Although it appears that there is a lot of time spent on the health issue, there is a balance here. Various opportunities to expand points and include a definition have been missed. A more substantial conclusion would have been preferable to what is otherwise a thoughtful and objectively written essay.

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Probable Questions for October/November 2015

A continuity to the Tradition: Like in the past, I am attempting to predict (so to say) questions that could show up in the upcoming October/November examination of 2015.

Disclaimer First: These predictions are in no way scientific or really probable.

Justification: However, these could be some topics you could brainstorm and practice upon, in order to prepare for your General Paper exams.


Consider the view that the key to good health is not medicine, but lifestyle

"Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social wellbeing, not merely an absence of disease or infirmity." - World Health Organization.

This definition of health in its broadest sense implies that curing of physical diseases and abnormalities alone cannot earn us a good health. Can medicines go beyond curing diseases, to improve our health on the mental and social grounds? The medicines for the mental diseases, like depression, might improve our mental and social health to some extent; however, good health in its broadest sense can only be achieved through improved lifestyle.

To what extent participating in online social networks improve our work and personal lives?

Note: This is not a complete GP essay, but will help you brainstorm to write one.

First of all, it is important to understand that social networks are neutral - neither good nor bad - in themselves! So, whether they improve our work and personal lives is based upon how we use them. Thus, there are ways they can ruin or improve our lives.

Personal lives Social networks help us connect with our friends, kin and relatives even when we don't have time to meet them physically, or even when they are located far away. Social media mediates our social relationships. We are updated about our near and dear ones on regular basis thus, our social bonds remain strong.