The Department of Health is looking to shut down five popular nightclubs for ignoring the city's smoking ban.

M2 Ultra Lounge in Chelsea, The Box on the Lower East Side, Southside Nightclub in Little Italy, The Imperial in the Flatiron District and Lit Lounge in the East Village were fined in 2009 for allowing smoking indoors.

DOH officials say patrons were caught smoking during an undercover operation.

Health officials are taking the case to a tribunal today, to ask a judge to revoke the club's food and beverage permits, which would prohibit alcohol sales.

The judge will decide whether the DOH has enough evidence to pull the permits for willful and continuous disregard of the ban. [NY1] (thx danny)