Thanks for the input everyone. After a bit more research I'm thinking that perhaps I'm using the QL coals incorrectly. Usually I just make a bunch of evenly spaced holes in the foil with a toothpick and place the coal directly in the middle of the bowl but according to www.shishapipe.net
I should be using at least two coals and placing them at the edge of the bowl:
"If you are going to use the quick lights, place a lit coal on the outside of the bowl first. Wait 2 minutes and then add another coal on another outer area of the bowl. Usually two charcoals will do the job, but some people like going overboard with the smoke and add a third charcoal 25 minutes into the smoking session when the first two begin to die down. It is not recommended to put a third charcoal on that soon, but if you are an experienced hookah smoker, and you know how to manage your charcoals, then you could pull it off and get quite a nice smoke from it. The other thing you need to worry about is heat management. About every five minutes, you should move the charcoal to a new place on the bowl on the outsides, and eventually moving them closer and closer to the inside. If the charcoal is placed on the same region of the bowl for too long, it will just burn the tobacco to the point it turns crispy and hard; ruining the flavor of the whole bowl. What we want to do is savor and use our molasses to it's fullest potential, and waste as little of it as possible. Heat management, and moving the coals every 5-10 minutes is a crucial technique that most people neglect when smoking hookah."