GREAT NECK, N.Y. (AP) _ A chain-smoker who had been ordered by a judge not to puff in front of her children won the right to light up again.

The appeals division of the state Supreme Court granted a stay of the order Tuesday, permitting 41-year-old Elizabeth Roofeh to smoke in the presence of her husband and children pending a hearing scheduled for September.

Mrs. Roofeh said Wednesday she already is trying to kick the habit.

''I was only doing it (smoking) to annoy my husband,'' Mrs. Roofeh, who is seeking a divorce, said as she left for her first session at a non-smoking clinic. ''I'm coughing like crazy. I don't think it's good for the kids.''

Mrs. Roofeh's husband, Jahanshan, an orthopedic surgeon, went to court last year, arguing that her smoking is harmful to their children, ages 6, 7 and 9. He said he tried unsuccessfully for 12 years to get her to curtail her habit.

Last month, Judge Ralph Diamond ordered Mrs. Roofeh to confine her smoking to a small room in the couple's six-bedroom home. Her attorney, Joel Brandes, appealed, contending such an order is unconstitutional.

Roofeh's attorney, Stephen Schissell, had no comment on the stay.