O&A Masthead

Colorado News —
October 2018

Columnist — Joyce Trent

DENVER — The federal method of determining whether convenience stores and other tobacco outlets are following the age limits for selling cigarettes in Colorado caught violators only a third of the time, states a report published by Jama Pediatrics magazine in August.

The widely circulated report is based on a study conducted between October 2012 and September 2013 by a group headed by University Associate Professor Arnold Levinson, an investigator for the CU Cancer Center. The data was not analyzed until September 2017 and the analysis was not completed until March 2018. No reason was cited for the delay and apparently the group did not do a followup, although it urged others to do so.

Undercover minors were sent six times into 201 stores in a suburban county of Denver. Gasoline retailers were the most targeted. Teens selected 77 convenience stores, four stand-alone gasoline stations, 33 grocery/supermarkets, 63 liquor stores, 17 pharmacies, and seven tobacco stores. A total of 1,181 purchase attempts were analyzed; 25 were discarded for missing data.

Colorado flag

Of those studied 54.7 percent violated at least once; 26.4 percent at least twice, and 11.9 percent more times, the report states.

The proportion of retailers that sold cigarettes to a minor at least once was three times higher than the mean retailer violation rate reported by federal authorities who monitor the stores.

Although the stores asked for ID more than 90 percent of the time, two-thirds of the violations occurred after minors presented ID showing they were between 15 and 16 years old.

The study concluded that clerks do not look carefully at the ID. "Despite progress against tobacco sales to minors, retailers continue to violate state and federal laws and supply adolescent smokers with tobacco products," Levinson said.

"The argument the industry makes is they comply, so leave us alone," said Levinson. "But the federal method is inadequate and clearly does not estimate how many stores sell cigarettes to kids. It is way off the mark."

GRAND JUNCTION — High Desert Oasis Auto and Truck Spa car wash has opened here after six months of renovation of a facility that had once contained a wash but that had languished unused for a long time.

The self-service wash has one large truck bay and three bays for smaller vehicles. The service is coin-operated. Having no staff on site keeps the overhead down.

"We first saw it as a big enough lot in a good area for a barbecue business, but after analysis it seemed more suitable to a car wash," said co-owner Alex Williams.

He has stationed a barbecue restaurant that will operate temporarily in front of the wash, with dedicated seating for it in one of the wash bays.

He said his goal was to revive that area of the town.

IDAHO SPRINGS — Sasquatch is alive and well in this town and his supporters are even promoting him to run for President.

The Squatch (c.q) Gas Station, which lies on the route to area casinos, has a Bigfoot sketch on the front door and is filled with Sasquatch sale items. There is a stuffed baby sasquatch and adult sasquatch hoodies and tee shirts with his image. One of the tee shirts reads "Sasquatch for President." Political campaign buttons with his image also are available.

There are other goods offered there, including a one-of-a-kind birdhouse and stone turtles for the garden.

For a quick pick-me-up there is local jerky, breakfast sandwiches and old-timey and European candies.

Those who want to linger in this kind of funky atmosphere can feast on broaster chicken and barbecue smoked in-house.

While the store closes at 10 p.m., gamblers on their way home can gas up. The pumps are open twenty-four/seven.

DENVER — AAA Colorado predicted 640,000 of the state's residents would travel over Labor Day, with 85 to 90 percent going by car, despite soaring gasoline prices.

That represents a increase of 42,000 motorists over the prior year, making it the highest number since 2005, and those people were paying an average of 51 cents more per gallon than last year.

Statewide, the price of a gallon was $2.86 cents, in Denver $2.81, and in Colorado Springs, $2.823.

An economy that continues to be robust, high employment and consumer confidence it will last are factors affecting the travel, according to industry analysts.

AVON — Another Colorado town appears headed to raise the age for purchasing tobacco.

The Avon town council gave preliminary approval recently to require anyone purchasing cigarettes or other tobacco products be 21 years old.

The proposed ordinance also requires tobacco retailers to obtain a license that will cost $500.

By requiring a license the town will forfeit money that normally the state would return from sales tax. The town believes it would offset that by increasing the cigarette tax. However it is up to the voters to approve in the November election.

With the money raised the town plans to hire a licensing administrator.

Aspen and Basalt already have passed ordinances upping the minimum age to 21 for buying tobacco.

DENVER — FullSpeed Automotive, based here, has opened its 285th Grease Monkey Center in the USA, this one in Savage, MN.

Founded in 1978, Grease Monkey is one of the largest automotive quick lube franchisors not owned by a major oil company.

The firm has international operations in South America, China, Saudi Arabia, and Mexico, as well as in the United States. It has received the VetFran 5-star rating for its commitment to provide franchises to veterans and their spouses.

Originally published in the October 2018 issue of the O&A Marketing News.
Copyright 2018 by KAL Publications Inc.

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