World health officials were against the additives that made cigarettes more appealing, but kept aside a lot of other issues until 2012.

The officials of the World Health Organization met at Uruguay's fashionable beach resort of Punta del Este, to work out a strategy on the Framework Convention for Tobacco Control, which was signed by 171 countries.

Though delegates were in favor of a proposal to put a ban on additives, certain other critics proposed improvement of flavors of cigarettes. However, the issue was put off until the next meeting decisions on tougher taxes for tobacco products.

"We've been able to take this conference to another level," said Thamsanqa Dennis Mseleku, who presided at the WHO meeting. The International Tobacco Growers Association was also against the proposal of limiting additives.

"This is an ambiguous decision ... it gives countries great leeway in deciding what measures to take on mixes (of tobacco varieties)," said Antonio Abrunhosa, head of the growers' group.

In the meanwhile, the number of awareness campaigns elaborating the dangerous effects of smoking was increased.

Health officials also backed Uruguay's tough anti-smoking rules but had to face resistance from the powerful tobacco lobby including global tobacco company Philip Morris Intl.

Philip Morris said it is in favor of many of the Uruguayan measures, but is against a few regulations including an increase in the size of health warnings on packets and a rule that limits the number of brands any one company can sell.

Uruguay's president, former leftist guerrilla leader Jose Mujica, said this week the multinational firm was going after a small nation for "trying to defend its people's health."