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Enforcement of tobacco sales laws

Thank you for your well-reasoned editorial, “Legislature Should Raise the Age of Buying Nicotine”, summarizing statistics on the vaping epidemic among youth in Colorado and our nation.

Especially important, you note “Although we applaud the change in Federal law (to make 21 the legal age for tobacco sales), it likely won’t be enforced.” A review of federal enforcement of the 18-year age limit on tobacco sales in Colorado Springs over the past decade shows that most retailers who sold to kids received only warnings; only 1 in 5 got a fine; few had a follow-up check to see if they were still selling to minors; and not one was given a no-sale order, even after 3 or 4 violations. Federal enforcement has been weak, and as a result most teens in Colorado say it is easy to get vaping products.

The bill being considered in the Colorado Legislature would reinforce the 21-year age limit and create a state-wide system of licensing for tobacco retailers. Those who sell to minors will be fined and lose their license to sell tobacco and vaping products, giving teeth to enforcement. The state license will provide a consistent set of regulations for tobacco retailers across Colorado, including places like unincorporated El Paso County.

The Colorado Springs City Council is also considering an ordinance to enact Tobacco 21 and retail licensing. The state law being debated would explicitly support such local action: local tobacco ordinances are allowed as long as they are no less restrictive than the state law; information on tobacco retailers will be shared between local governments and the state, including records of licensing and violations; and if a local tobacco license is suspended, the state license will also be suspended. A city ordinance could start limiting nicotine sales to minors sooner than the proposed state law, which would not take effect until July 2021.

Thanks again to the Gazette for joining the community outcry for action on the vaping epidemic, which is getting a whole new generation addicted to nicotine.

Dr. Ted Maynard

Colorado Springs

Outdoor game was a great event

I’ve read many complaints about Saturday’s hockey game at Falcon Stadium. However, I would like to say my family had a great time there. We researched and knew what to expect and planned accordingly.

Based on available information, we ate before we arrived and got to the stadium almost three hours before puck drop. We paid in advance for parking and didn’t try to bring prohibited items into the venue.

I agree they could have provided additional beer carts, but all in all it was a great event.

Collin Gilbert

Colorado Springs

CDOT was not the problem

It is an easy target to blame Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) for the disaster at the outdoor hockey game but I easily entered the academy at Academy Blvd. at 2:45 p.m.

The line to get into the parking at that time was 2 miles long. The inept planning and staffing to get people into the lot was just the start. We prepaid the 20 bucks to park and were sent to lot 2. The lot was snow packed and icy. We had to push a Lyft car to get it out of the lot.

The pregame area was a mud pit with your choice of sloshing through a pond or stepping on frozen ice. We bypassed that to stand in line to get into stadium.

The Air Force group in charge of parking and people moving has to be about the worst I have ever seen but the spectacle of the game was very good. I stayed for the entire game and got to my van at 8:50 p.m. I waited in non-moving lines for another hour and a half before trekking out against traffic to find a moving gate.

I arrived home at 11:30 p.m. and live near the World Arena.

I just read in The Gazette where the athletic director for Air Force said most people enjoyed the experience. That just goes to show how out of touch that entire group really is.

Jeff Kosley

Colorado Springs

Businesses and parking costs

I had to move my small business out of downtown even before the meter raise because parking was too hard for my clients... now with the meter raise, I don’t know how businesses are going to help offset that cost.

For a city that declined recreational marijuana, they are desperate for money and will get it any way they know how, even if that means losing tax revenue from small businesses because of something as silly as parking costs!

Benny James

Colorado Springs

Disgusted by tribute to Limbaugh

After reading Ruben Navarrette’s column about Rush Limbaugh in the Feb. 16 Gazette, I am so mad and disgusted my blood is boiling.

Navarrette is in awe of a bigoted racist, homophobic, lying, misogynistic blow hard. Limbaugh coined the phrase femi-Nazis. He said feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women access to the mainstream of society.

He sang a song about President Obama likening him to a monkey. He compares black people to thugs. He said smoking and hurricanes were not that dangerous.

These are but a very few of the countless ridiculous statements he has made and continues to make.

Navarrette praises Limbaugh for making millions by spreading lies and misinformation. Limbaugh has done more to create the division in this country than anyone in history except President Donald Trump.

Navarrette is a disgrace to journalism and there is no place in any newspaper for anyone praising scum like Limbaugh. I am contacting the Gazette to implore you not to publish garbage like this.

John Hasle

Woodland Park(

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