Kids who are barred from buying cigarettes at local stores have a new way to get ahold of tobacco, and all it takes is a click of a mouse.

For years, law enforcement officers around the nation have used teens as bait in undercover sting operations to nail retail establishments for selling cigarettes to people under 18. And the stings worked More than 70 percent of all stores nationwide now comply with the laws and ask for identification.

But now there is a new way for kids to buy cigarettes, with no ID required, as ABCNEWS’ Good Morning America has discovered.

In Salt Lake City, children ranging in age from 10 to 17 were able to buy cigarettes online and have them shipped directly to their homes.

Laura Jacobsen, who does not smoke, was one of those who ordered cigarettes over the Internet. She and the other children were working with investigators from the Utah Attorney General’s Office.

It was part of a sting operation to see if online retailers would sell to minors. And they did More than 50 percent of the children’s orders were filled.

“I got Virginia Lights and I’m 14,” Jacobsen said. “I just ordered them over the Internet.”

No one asked her age or asked her to verify her identify, she said.

Across the nation, states and cities are running similar stings.

Eight year old Nikko was just one of the children who bought cigarettes online as part of a sting run by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs. GMA’s consumer correspondent, Greg Hunter, watched the boy order three cartons of Kool mild cigarettes. The underage purchaser said he felt worried.

“I don’t want other kids to do that, unless they are supervised,” Nikko said.

Delivered to Their Doorsteps

According to U.S. health statistics, 8,000 children try cigarettes every day, and 3,000 become addicted to cigarettes every day.

No one knows how many children are actually ordering cigarettes online, but teens make up the largest group of new smokers. Some officials are concerned that the Internet could become an easy source for cigarettes.

In a similar cigarette sting last July, children ordered cigarettes from 26 Internet companies, and 24 of those companies filled the orders, sending the tobacco products to children.

“Unfortunately, we had kids as young as 7 years old getting cartons of cigarettes delivered to their doorstep,” said Jane Hoffman, commissioner of the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs.

The kids were surprised that they actually received the cigarettes. Their parents were appalled.

Joey, 13, bought cigarettes from as part of the most recent sting. The Web site clearly states you need to be 18 years old to order. But that didn’t stop Joey, who wasn’t asked him to prove he was 18.

Just how careless are some online cigarette sellers? In one case last July, a 7 year old gave his true date of birth to an online tobacco company and it sent him cigarettes anyway.

The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs Commissioner says an age verification system would prohibit minors from ordering.

“Many Internet porn sites have a prior registration where you register your credit card and prove your identity and send in a birth certificate,” says Hoffman. “I think Internet tobacco retailers should be doing the same thing,”

Cigarettes, Dirt Cheap

As GMA’s Hunter watched, three children who volunteered to be part of the sting placed a total of four orders three online and one by phone.

Bill that would ban using ebt cards to buy cigarettes closer to becoming law

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If you receive public assistance money, you can use it to buy cigarettes and other tobacco products. You can also buy these products using an EPPICard, which is used to transmit child support payments from one parent to another. Some lawmakers say both of these instances are abuse.

In a 13 7 decision the House Health Committee voted to pass a bill that would prohibit people from using EBT and EPPICards to purchase tobacco and tobacco paraphernalia.

A spokesperson with the Department of Public Welfare explained that two different types of funding go to EBT cards. One type, is food stamps or SNAP benefits. The other is Public Assistance. Purchasing tobacco and other tobacco paraphernalia is already banned with Food Stamp/SNAP benefits.

What is currently allowed, at point of sale, is using public assistance funds to purchase cigarettes, tobacco products and tobacco paraphernalia.

Some lawmakers hope to change this.

“The taxpayers of Pennsylvania are going to help you when you are down and out. But, it’s not appropriate to take advantage of taxpayers and purchase tobacco with that money,” said the prime sponsor of the bill, Representative Mike Reese, (R) 59th District.

Representative Florindo Fabrizio (D) 2nd District voted against the bill because of the inclusion of EPPICards. Rep. Fabrizio said child support is a private matter that the government should not get involved in. “We were informed EPPIcards were involved in this, they have nothing to do with public funding. It’s from one parent to another,” said Rep. Fabrizio.

Committee members also passed an amendment that would ban the use of EBT and EPPICards at any entity licensed by the Liquor Control Board or the Gaming Control Board. According to a Department of Public Welfare spokesperson it is already prohibited to purchase alcohol. This would now add places such as bars, casinos and strip clubs.

“It is well intentioned. Not practical. I’ll be a no vote,” said Rep. Michael O’Brien (D) 175th District. “It is not enforceable. There is nothing here that I see that prevents a recipient from going around the corner and taking cash out and going to the liquor store,” said Rep. O’Brien.

“You’re right,” said Rep. Reese. “There absolutely is a loophole with the ability to take cash out at an ATM machine. I have another bill dealing with that. But this is a first step.”

Now the bill will move to the Full House for consideration.