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An exploding cigar is a variety of cigar that explodes shortly after being lit. Such cigars are normally packed with a minute chemical explosive charge near the lighting end or with a non-chemical device that ruptures the cigar when exposed to heat. Also known as "loaded cigars," the customary intended purpose of exploding cigars is as a practical joke, rather than to cause lasting physical harm to the smoker of the cigar. Nevertheless, the high risk of unintended injuries from their use caused a decline in their manufacture and sale.
Although far rarer than their prank cousins, exploding cigars used as a means to kill or attempt to kill targets in real life has been claimed, and is well represented as a fictional plot device. The most famous case concerning the intentionally deadly variety was an alleged plot by the United States Central Intelligence Agency in the 1960s to assassinate Cuban leader Fidel Castro. Notable real-life incidents involving the non-lethal ilk include an exploding cigar purportedly given by Ulysses S. Grant to an acquaintance and a dust-up between Turkish military officers and Ernest Hemingway after he pranked one of them with an exploding cigar.

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