LOS ANGELES – Nearly 30 percent of middle and high school boys and nearly 18 percent of girls used some form of tobacco last year, the federal government said in a report published Thursday.

Over the last decade, there has been a slow decline in tobacco use among middle and high school students, the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said. But when compared with other long-term studies, such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey, the steep rate of decline from 1997 to 2003 has slowed noticeably.

Nearly 25 percent of high school males and more than 17 percent of high school females used some form of smoked tobacco product in 2011, according to the analysis, published Thursday in the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

In 2011, 7.1 percent of middle school students and 23.2 percent of high school students used tobacco, with the rates at 4.3 percent and 15.8 percent for cigarettes.

More than 8 percent of middle school boys and nearly 6 percent of middle school girls used some form of tobacco in 2011.

Among black high school students, cigar use went from 7.1 percent in 2009 to 11.7 percent in 2011.

Cigarette use declined from 19.2 percent in 2009 to 15.8 percent among Hispanic high school students.

The report is based on the National Youth Tobacco Survey, administered in 2011.