Ireland’s smoking ban has not had an adverse effect on its hospitality industry, according to new research. The country’s Office of Tobacco Control (OTC), which researches tobacco use and advises the government on policy, found that bar retail sales by volume had in fact increased over the past three month period, year-on-year, reversing a four year decline. Furthermore, the report found that employment in the bar sector had increased by 1400 people. The results of the report were announced at the OTC’s unveiling of its annual report. However, the figures have been disputed by the Vintners Federation of Ireland. According to Caterer and Hotelkeeper magazine, the organisation, which represents 6,000 Irish publicans, has research that "suggests" 7,500 jobs were lost from the sector in the 12 months following the ban, with the closure of 600 venues.