Australia is at risk of becoming a "hermit kingdom" after it was beaten on legalising nicotine e-cigarettes by New Zealand, a crossbench senator says.
Australia is at risk of becoming a "hermit kingdom" having been beaten by New Zealand when it comes to legalising nicotine e-cigarettes, Liberal Democrat David Leyonhjelm warns.
New Zealand on Wednesday announced it would legalise nicotine e-cigarettes, days after Australia's medicines regulator rejected an application to do the same.
"This is yet another example of Australia being left behind on very basic issues of personal choice," Senator Leyonhjelm said.
"Whether it's the freedom-to-marry, tax reform and now the legalisation of e-cigarettes containing nicotine - our neighbours are roaring ahead on freedom.
"Forget about a banana republic. Australia is at risk of becoming the hermit kingdom of the Asia-Pacific".
Senator Leyonhjelm is seeking to amend legislation currently before the Senate to legalise nicotine e-cigarettes.