Australian Conservatives leader Cory Bernardi has accepted an industry award for promoting the legalisation of nicotine in e-cigarettes.
The ABC reports Senator Bernardi was presented with the award by Legalise Vaping Australia, a body connected to the Australian Taxpayers' Alliance, which is known for supporting conservative and libertarian causes.
"I'm a reformed smoker, I know how difficult it is to quit, and anything we can do to minimise the damage attached to cigarettes, and get people off cigarettes, is a step in the right direction," Senator Bernardi said.
"Vaping is merely another means of delivering nicotine that is far less harmful than many alternatives,” Senator Bernardi said vaping would help prevent thousands of premature deaths in Australia from smoking e-cigarettes.
He also suggested it could boost the Government's bottom line.
"The Government is forgoing tax revenue at the moment because they're prohibiting one of the measures by which people can receive their nicotine fix, in a less harmful manner," he said.
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Picture: Tim Andrews and Brian Marlow from Legalise Vaping Australia and Senator Cory Bernardi (centre)