People who feel cold when sat outside pubs and restaurants should "wear a jumper" rather than switch on a patio heater, according to the Government.
The official advice came as Phil Woolas, the climate change minister, announced that there had been a tenfold rise in the outdoor heaters at pubs and restaurants since the smoking ban came into force last year.
"The official line to take is, when outside, wear a jumper," he said.
The Government's Energy Saving Trust has previously called for a national ban on patio heaters, a motion that is currently being discussed at European level.
Last year, the trust estimated that the number of patio heaters would double this year to 2.3m, which, it claimed, would produce as much carbon dioxide as driving 200,000 cars from Land's End to John O'Groats.
But pub groups have insisted the heaters they use are as "environmentally friendly as possible" and warn that a ban would cost the sector £250m in lost trade.
By Daniel Thomas
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