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Australian Awarded For Vapor Advocacy

Australian Awarded For Vapor Advocacy


Cory Bernardi, an Australian politician, was recently recognized by Legalise Vaping Australia as one of the most public figures advocating for vapor legalization. In February, Bernardi protested the ban on vapor by driving his “Vape Force One” bus around a state parliament building and making public statements in support of legalization.     

After accepting his award, Bernardi made a speech arguing that vapor products should be legalized in the country, directing criticism at the government which he says is “detached from reality.”

“Legalising vaping is a common-sense solution,” Bernardi said. “It’s extraordinary that politicians are so captive and beholden to a tiny subsection of the community that they’re refusing to even contemplate something that can prevent the deaths.”

He also argued that legalization would prevent the death of 19,000 lives by encouraging Australians to launch new quit-smoking attempts.

“It’s a proven harm reduction strategy. The government’s completely detached from reality.”

Bernardi pointed to his personal experiences as a "reformed smoker," which led to his continued vapor advocacy, despite the country’s government hesitating to make changes to a policy that effectively bans e-liquid containing nicotine.  

Australian Politics

Vapor advocacy is not easy in Australia. The country has remained one of the most repressive against vapor, and their Federal Department of Health and Ageing has classified every form of nicotine, except for replacement therapies and cigarettes, as a form of poison. Since 2014, it has been illegal to sell or supply e-cigarettes regardless of their appearance or nicotine content, and most states have a ban on public vapor use.

After accepting the award Bernardi faced political backlash from his critics, who point to the country’s health services agencies all having expressed skepticism about vapor.  

Take, for example, Emeritus Professor Simon Chapman, from the University of Sydney, who said that Bernardi was “pathetic,” “not an authority” on vapor, and pointed to all the health organizations that have opposed legalization of vapor.

“Senator Cory Bernardi is a rather pathetic character, he’s done abysmally in two electoral outings since he switched over [from the Liberal Party]."

"If you look at who's expressing caution, it's every medical and health body in this country, the National Health and Medical Research Council, the Cancer Council, the Heart Foundation, the Lung Foundation, the Royal College of Physicians,” Chapman added.

Vape Force One

Despite the various legislative and political hurdles that comes with advocating for vapor in Australia, Bernardi has made himself one of the most public figures associated with calls for legalization in the country.

On Valentine’s Day earlier this year Bernardi took a bus called “Vape Force One” and drove a lap of Parliament House in Canberra in protest of the vapor ban.

“The Government’s position is illogical,” Senator Bernardi said at the time. “Vaping is a much safer way for people to satisfy their nicotine addiction and cravings.”

Despite an uptick in advocacy, the Australian government still has no plan for legalization of vapor.