A women holds her hand next to a vape pen.

Removing Barriers from Vaping: Tips for People with Disabilities

Updated: March 2021

Last week a customer asked us when our shops would be open again.

She used to visit on a regular basis in order to get her coils changed. Due to problems with her hands, she struggled to change them herself.

She’s not alone – my mother has arthritis in her hands, and struggles with some vape devices.

However, with the right device, there’s simply no need to struggle with coil changing – or any of the more fiddly aspects of vaping.

For all of you who have limited mobility, disabilities, or simply want to avoid the more fiddly aspects of vaping, we’ve put this guide together to help you choose a device that will fit your needs.

Of course, there’s no one single solution, and the vape you select will depend on your particular needs. So in this post we’re going to review potential problem areas and suggest solutions for each of those.

Changing coils

Coils can be tricky and fiddly to change for all of us. Of course, just how difficult depends on the device.

Fortunately, we’re seeing more modern tanks come through with push-fit coils. These are super simple to use – you simply pull the coil to remove it from the base of the tank, and push in a replacement.

Tanks such as the Smok Nord 19 which use push-pull coils also seal the e-liquid in the tank, so that you don’t have to empty the tank before changing the coil. This both saves e-liquid and makes changing the coil a mess-free process.

If you do choose a device with fixed coils, consider choosing one with large coils. In the comments below, Martin notes that he finds the Innokin iSub tank easy to use because of the size of its coils. The Aspire PockeX is another device that comes large coils, and is also easy to use.

Smok Nord 1 Tanks on an orange background.

Also consider: Fixed coil or ‘Pod’ devices

Some devices come with a fixed coil. With these devices, instead of changing the coil, you simply replace the whole tank or pod. An example of this is the Innokin Go series, which includes the Innokin GO-S, the Go Max and Go Z kits.

Many (but not all) pod systems also come with built-in coils. One pod system to try is the Vaporesso Osmall, which also has the advantage of being button free and inhale activated.

Trouble with e-liquid bottles

There’s no getting around the fact that vape products are designed to be child-proof.

Unfortunately, that can make it difficult for some of us adults too.

You may, however, want to avoid short-fill bottles. These are larger bottles of juice that are designed to be mixed with nicotine shots and shaken. The top can be fiddly to take off, and you need to shake the mixture to dissolve the nicotine.

If you prefer high VG e-liquid, check out the Double Drip and Wick Liqour ranges, both of which come in standard 10ml bottles and pre-mixed with nicotine .

Wick Liquor Carnival on a grey background.

Button issues

If you’re having trouble pressing the button on the device, consider using an auto-inhale device. These detect when you are inhaling, and automatically fire up the vape for you, without the need to press a button

A great example of this is the Uwell Caliburn and Caliburn A2, which gives the option of button operation or auto-inhale. An additional bonus with this device is that it is one of the best pod systems for flavour.

Black Uwell Caliburn on a grey surface.

Filling your tank or pod

If you’re looking for a pod system, look for a device that can be filled without removing the pod from the base. Many more modern pod systems now come with a side-fill port, which simply entails inserting the e-liquid bottle into a port to fill.

The new Eleaf iJust AIO is even easier, as it comes with a simple to use twist-to-fill mechanism. Simply twist the top and a refilling port will appear.

Also consider: Prefilled cartridges or pods

If you are really struggling to fill tanks or pod with e-liquid, you might be better off using a device which comes pre-filled.

One option is to use a Halo Cigalike. This looks just like a regular cigarette, and to use you simply screw a cartridge on to the battery.

If you’d prefer something that doesn’t look like a cigarette, it might be worth checking out the Hexa Pro. This slim device also comes with a magnetic attachment, which means the pod snaps securely and easily into place on the device.

Handily, both of these devices also have the advantage of being auto-inhale.

Lifestyle shot of the Hexa V2 in a car.

Struggling to grip the device

One problem with traditional vapes is they are often made of metal, making them slippery to hold – which can be frustrating if you are struggling to grip the device.

Fortunately, a number of devices are designed to be easier to hold. Vaporesso, in particular, use textured grips for a number of their devices, including the previously mentioned Osmall.

Struggling to inhale

One commenter recently raised another potential issue, which is when you struggle to suck hard enough to activate a draw-activated device. 

First, if you are struggling to inhale, it’s worth considering Mouth-to-Lung (MTL)  over Direct-Lung (DL) devices, as DL devices require more force in order to get enough vapour out. It’s also worth considering devices that are more sensitive to inhaling and can be button fired. (Nowadays, these often come with dual controls, so you can fire them either by inhaling or by pressing a button). 

Good options here include the Uwell Caliburn series, such as the Caliburn A2 or G2, and the Vaporesso Xros 2

Struggling to see

If you are visually impaired, there’s a couple of things to avoid.

First, it’s worth avoiding advanced mod devices with screens. While many devices have made improvements in the clarity of their screens, much of the more advanced information is displayed in tiny writing.

A simpler device also means less time spent trying to read tiny instruction manuals with a magnifying glass!

When choosing a device, it’s also worth paying attention to the filling mechanism. Some devices have a tiny arrow on the top of the tank, which shows where you should push in order to open up the filling port. These can be very difficult to see.

A lot of the tips we’ve already covered apply here. Consider using a device with a fixed coil and prefilled cartridges or pods. You can usually feel around for the button, but if that causes any issues, consider an auto-inhale device.

Again, the Hexa Pro is a good option here. In addition to using a pre-filled pod, it also comes with haptic feedback, which means it vibrates when you fit the pod into the device, and when you attach the device to a charger.

Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Removing Barriers from Vaping: Tips for People with Disabilities”

  1. Great article. I am vision impaired, and have found the aspire pockex amazingly accessible,. No menues,, and the top unscrews, you pour the liquid with the device in your hand or standing up. I generally give my ejuice bottle a couple of squeezes and vape away.

  2. I have autism but the main thing that causes me issues with vaping is I also have coordination problems as well as part of my disability. I find the Innokin iSub tanks work best for me because the coils are very easy for me to change and the tank is easy to fill. On every other vaping system I’ve ever used a family member has had to change the coils for me. Pod systems help with this issue but I’m a big fan of box mods and I like to be able to change the wattage. I’m also a cloud chaser and iSub coils last me longer than pods do.

  3. I have advanced rheumatoid, my hands are bent , weak and painful, I Use crown 3 tank and coil , easy to change coils , I looked at your recommended tank but it’s only 3ml , please any others ?
    99% I can’t open

    1. Unfortunately, the maximum legal tank capacity in the UK is currently 2ml, so we don’t have much experience with that!

      Martin above has mentioned that he finds the iSub coils easy to change, or it might be worth trying a fixed coil tank. The Innokin Go is similar to a tank system and comes with a fixed coil, and they have some interesting new versions coming out – for example, the Go Max will be the first fixed coil Direct-Lung tank.

  4. I struggle with sucking now because my mouth muscles have gotten weaker are there any other vapes that activate in a different way without having to suck? Or any that that are easier or more sensitive sucking to a weaker suck?

    1. Hi Oliver, I’d suggest going for a button activated device rather than an inhale activated one – some devices have got both. Its also worth looking for a device which is mouth-to-lung rather than direct lung and one which is very sensitive. I’d suggest looking at the Caliburn devices or at the Xros 2.

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