William Bennett, a heavy cigarette smoker, promised he will quit by the time he officially becomes the nation's drug czar but said, in self-defense, "I don't deserve to be arrested."

The question of Bennett's personal habits came up at a news conference Thursday when President-elect George Bush announced the appointment of Bennett.Reminded that Surgeon General Everett Koop has said that the nicotine in tobacco is as addictive a drug as heroin, Bush was asked if Bennett would give up his habit.

"Let him answer on his personal habits," Bush replied.

When Bennett faced reporters on his own, he promised, "You won't have a drug czar who smokes cigarettes."