Secretary of State Eric Pickles has said spitting in the street should not be tolerated.
He was speaking in support of a new council byelaw to make spitting a criminal offence in Enfield.
The problem has become so bad in the London borough that the council applied to Pickles for provisional approval to byelaws that would prohibit it.
The byelaw makes it a criminal offence to spit in the street "without reasonable excuse" and was supported by Labour and Conservative groups on the council.
Spitting into a handkerchief or tissue is still permissible.
Mr Pickles said: "Spitting is a deeply anti-social and unpleasant practice. Spitting on Britain's streets is not socially acceptable.
"In light of the cross party support and backing of ruling and opposition groups, we are giving the go-ahead to new powers for Enfield council to tackle these localised problems."