Updated: February 2023
Vaping has become a lot more accessible over the last decade or so. Gone are the days when the only options were complicated mods that required expert knowledge, home-built coils and a LOT of fiddling to operate, or simple cigalikes with a limited range of flavours.
Despite these advances, for those with disabilities and other limitations, there are still certain aspects of vaping that can cause problems.
However, with the right device, there’s simply no need to struggle, and there are plenty of options out there that combat limitations.
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 single solution, and the device you select will depend on your particular needs. So in this post, we’ve identified some common problem areas and suggested solutions for each of those.
- Trouble with: Changing coils
- Trouble with: Vape juice bottles
- Trouble with: Refilling
- Trouble with: Buttons
- Trouble with: Vision
- Trouble with: Grip
- Trouble with: Inhaling
- Accessible device recommendations
Before buying a kit or tank, it’s worth checking the coil design to make sure it’s manageable for you. Older coils with a ‘screw in’ design can be troublesome, especially for those with mobility problems or arthritis.
Luckily, most manufacturers are now designing coils with ‘push-fit’ installation, making it much easier to switch coils when needed.
Voopoo’s PnP coil range is a great example as they are compatible with a number of devices, have a wide resistance range and are simple to remove and replace.
Consider: Fixed-coil devices
If push-fit coils are still a bit fiddly, vape kits that use fixed-coil pods make a great alternative. Devices such as the Vaporesso Xros 3 use replaceable pods with a fixed coil inside. When the coil is used up, you simply replace the whole pod.
Unfortunately, vape juice bottles need to be childproof so are, by design, a little fiddly to open - even for us adults.
While this can’t be avoided with refillable devices, we would recommend steering clear of shortfill juices as they need to be mixed with nicotine shots. This makes things trickier as not only do you have to open the bottle but you have to remove the stopper, add your nic shot and shake.
Consider: High VG 10mls
Luckily, there are high VG, pre-mixed juices out there that make a great alternative to shortfills.
Vape tanks or pods with bottom or side-placed filling ports and fiddly rubber stoppers can cause problems when it comes to refilling. This is especially true of vape tanks that need to be unscrewed from the device beforehand.
Luckily, there are many devices out there with a much more convenient top-filling design. Sliding top fill tanks such as the Innokin Zlide Top make refilling easy as you simply slide the top over and add your vape juice through the filling port. This can be done without removing the tank and makes refilling quicker and a lot less messy.
Pod devices such as the Vaporesso Xros range have a similarly convenient design - with a mouthpiece that can be easily pushed off to expose the filling hole. You simply click the mouthpiece back into place when you’re done.
Also consider: Pre-filled pods
The easiest solution to refilling issues is to choose a device that uses pre-filled pods. Kits such as the Elf Bar Elfa Pro and Hexa Pro use sealed pods that not only have a fixed coil but are also prefilled with vape juice. When the vape juice runs out you simply remove and replace the whole pod.
Many vape devices have buttons you need to press to control them - including firing, adjusting settings and turning the device on/off.
This can cause problems for some - especially those with arthritis and joint issues that mean they can’t apply the pressure needed, or those with vision problems who struggle to see smaller buttons.
Some devices, especially more advanced mod kits, come with a number of controls, and this can be fiddly.
If this is an issue for you, but you still want to use a mod device, it’s best to consider a mod with larger buttons like the Innokin GOZEE or a single-button pen-style device such as the Voopoo Doric 60.
Also consider: Inhale firing/ auto power settings devices
Of course, if buttons pose a major problem, the best solution is to pick a device with none at all, and there are many great buttonless options out there!
Kits such as the Voopoo’s Argus X feature automatically set power output and inhale firing - meaning you simply inhale on the mouthpiece to vape and the device does everything else for you!
If you are visually impaired, there are 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 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 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.
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.
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 or Vaporesso Xros devices.
Elf Bar Elfa Pro
The Elf Bar Elfa Pro pod kit is super easy to use and overcomes many of the issues covered in this post. With fixed-coil, prefilled pods in popular Elf Bar flavours and a buttonless design, it is one of the most accessible devices you’ll find.
To vape, you simply attach the pod and inhale on the mouthpiece. The only thing you’ll need to do is replace the pod, and recharge the battery when it runs low.
Do you have any tips of your own? Let us know in the comments below!