I smoke pipes, you don't inhale the pipe smoke. One bowl, or less, and that nicotine will definitely be hitting (goes in through the gums or something). I always prefer to have eaten something big before a bowl. Take ya anywheres from 30 min to 1h 30 min, depending on cadence, bowl size, and packing. You get a lil increased mortality from the mouth cancers and whatnot, dental health (which is important) takes a hit. Should be able to mitigate that to some extent (I don't really bother since the dentist said my saliva was good or something, but I've been getting a little yellow I think).
When I smoked my latest (and by far best) pipe, for the first time, I think I broke through the anhedonia. And the weather conditions weren't even optimal. But, hedonic treadmill and all that. Still, pipe smoking is something I try to get in every day; the activity + nicotine are my main motivations, but for many (that don't have my shit sense of taste and smell) flavor is the big thing. For me personally it's worth the increased risk of cancers (or whatever), at present.
Anyway, pipe smoking can get a little pricey (a good briar pipe is like 150 U.S dollars, but should last a lifetime [meaning, it's actually not that expensive]), tobacco prices can be straight up insane due to taxes. It's also not just a matter of touching the leaf with some fire and then smoking, it requires some amount of learning at the beginning.
To address the main underlying point, tho, I don't see how smoking anything will really help you that much. But, if it is like you say and just a little boost would actually help you then I don't see how it's that bad compared to other forms of self-harm or cigarettes. I also believe it would be far easier to quit smoking a pipe than it would be to quit cigarettes. Anyway, for recovery people are usually talking about things like exercise, diet, socialization, therapy, study, work, meditation, medication, etc.