Your feature on the attractions of cigarette smoking for girls and young women left out an important factor that affects young people of both sexes: cigarette smoking as drug addiction ("Under Fire: Women and Smoking, April 17).
The discussion in my ninth-grade English class recently came around to smoking. I asked who in the class smoked or knew other teen-agers who did.
To my horror, most of the students raised their hands.
"Why would anyone even start?" I asked.
Collective shrug. Finally, one girl said, "It gives you a lift."
Not "Everybody does it." Not "It makes you look cool." It gives you a lift. Nicotine, a toxic drug, is a central nervous system stimulant that may be more immediately addictive than cocaine.
ELLEN JAFFE McCLAIN