The ban on smoking in pubs and clubs may be extended to the pavements outside, a council said yesterday.

Westminster City Council is so concerned about noise levels caused by smokers gathering on streets when the ban comes into force next summer, that it wants it widened to include areas outside bars and pubs.

Complaints about noise increased by 1,000 per cent in Edinburgh, after the smoking ban was introduced there.

With many West End pubs and clubs located in residential areas, council officials are worried there may be a similar increase in the number of complaints in Westminster.

The council has asked the Department of Health for "the power to prohibit smoking outside of certain premises".

On streets where there is a large number of pubs and bars the whole road could end up being subject to the smoking ban, a council spokesman said.

Councillor Audrey Lewis, Cabinet Member for Community Protection, said: "There are already problems outside some licensed premises caused by people standing outside drinking and creating considerable noise for neighbours.

"We are anxious to avoid this being greatly increased by smokers."

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