Smoker’s Aid

Project  / Project number: 2336  /  Status:

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The challenge

The client has MND.  He only has limited movement in one arm and is in a motorised Rea Azalea tilt in space wheelchair.  He wishes to continue smoking but currently this requires a carer to sit with him and raise the cigarette to his lips.  In discussion with his OT and carers they all agree that it is appropriate for his wish to be granted.  The aim is to allow him to smoke with less continuous assistance and to expose the carers to less smoke.  

The mouthpiece and tube in place fitted to the wheelchair.  The holder is placed on an adjacent table.

The microphone gooseneck was fitted to the wheelchair with a custom 3D clamp that housed a 3/8″ UNC bolt to screw into.

The mouthpiece was clamped by a custom 3D clamp with a 3/8″ UNC thread to allow attachment to the gooseneck.

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The solution

A device known as a ‘Smoker’s Robot’ (also known as an ‘Able 2 Cigarette Holder’) was identified that accommodates a lit cigarette in a holder that allows the ash to fall into a weighted base.  The smoke is delivered through a tube and mouthpiece.  Since the client was unable to hold the mouthpiece a flexible gooseneck was attached to his wheelchair with a custom 3D printed clamp.  A further 3D printed clamp was made to hold the mouthpiece at a convenient position for the client to be able to access it.  Now, here is the warning for anyone who might want to use the smoking device:  The smoker’s robot, as sold, is unsuitable for the purpose intended as it severely restricts air (and therefore smoke) flow.  It required significant reengineering to make it fit for purpose including re-machining and replacement of the tube and mouthpiece. This has been been bed back to the manufacturer.

The benefit

There is clearly a moral dilemma in this case:  Should we be facilitating someone to smoke?  In this case the professionals’ assessment made was that yes, this was the correct thing to do … not only to help the client but also his carers.

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