You are right. I was doing a substitute and, in the end, it didn’t have lasting effects. I could only share my experiences though, if nothing else, as a case study for comparison’s sake.
I tried that method using an app that spaced the cigarettes out. For me, I was able to get down to 10 (I was … am… a heavy smoker) but my willpower to continue beyond that waned.
But my brother a year later tried it and it worked for him.
But… he had a medical scare prior to making the attempt. I believe the medical scare is what prompted him to carry it through to completion and a successful smoke-free existence. He’s been smoke free for several years now and I’m proud of him.